Thursday, September 22, 2016

Talkin' Heads #6

TITLE: Girl (Dot) Com
GENRE: Adult Women's Fiction (Romantic Comedy)

Barrie has just seen the guy of her dreams – her genius colleague Josh – hooking up with Cherry, a company receptionist at an after-work happy hour. Her drunk administrative assistant and confidant Auggie just told her she knew this was bound to happen, much to Barrie’s surprise.

“She has? And hey, how do you know this?”

“Oh, c’mon now, all us Admins gossip, too – you think it’s that interesting doing the shit work? No offense, there, Bar, ‘cause you give me interesting stuff to do – but some of the admins are hokey little idiots who think this is the big time. And Cherry’s one of them.”

“So what does that have to do with anything?”

“Cherry’s been after Josh for a while now, and I think he might be shitfaced enough to go for it.” She wiped her hand across her damp forehead.

“How come I didn’t know any of this? When the hell did all this happen?” Annoyance bloomed into anger.

“She tried once at the Christmas party last year, but he didn’t go near her. I think he was nursing a broken heart. But she keeps trying, and he might be just wasted enough to let it happen.”

“But why?”

“Damn, Barrie, you sound like my three-year-old nephew. Why, why why!

“Oh, you know what I mean,” I said. And I calmed down, as I didn’t need to kill the messenger.

“I know. Anyways, he’s been ignoring her for a while. She’s cute and nice and all, but s***, what the hell do they have in common?”

 “Yes! Exactly! And shouldn’t he be more of a decent guy and just tell her to go away?” And with that, the boss/underling line has been crossed.

 “Barrie, even decent guys need to get laid sometimes.” Wisdom from drunks.


  1. Forever in Blue JeansSeptember 22, 2016 at 2:32 PM

    Overall, this is a well-written excerpt. As a SAHM, I'm a little taken aback by the cussing, but if you feel that's they way people talk in casual work/happy hour conversation, then by all means, keep it all in there. Two things I might tweak: toward the end, you switched to present-tense in "...the boss/underling line has been crossed." You should keep that in past tense, since everything else is past tense. Secondly, in the line "But she keeps trying, and he might just be wasted enough to let it happen," I'd specify it's this time they're talking about: "...just be wasted enough this time to let it happen."I love the line "Wisdom from drunks." Made me smile.

  2. Line by line, this is good dialogue. It's believable and easy to follow. But it also seems repetitive, like it takes Barrie too long to understand the simple idea that Cherry wants Josh and he's drunk enough to go for it. Could it be condensed to express this idea more quickly and move on to what she's going to do about it?

    Thanks for sharing and good luck.

  3. The dialogue itself is good. :) I could follow the conversation easily. However, you may want to consider the non-verbal dialogue as well because it will make their exchange more realistic. Use body language cues like eye squints, shrugs, head tilts, arm folding, etc. to break up the spoken words. It's easy to forget that we talk with more than just our voices.

    Good luck with this!

  4. I just read the opening introduction and it stood out to me that all your characters have similar sounding names. If not for comedic affect, it could be confusing. (It was to me.) As for dialogue, it was definitely office gossip/drama. I got the sense of that easily. You could add some action beats to spice it up, ground us in a setting. Like she takes a drink or taps a pen on the desk or something. I like the 3-year old line a lot.

  5. Nice exchange and believable. I would love to see some action beats in there too. :)

    'and he might be just wasted enough to let it happen' is redundant.

    You say " for a while now" twice, I recommend changing one.

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