Monday, August 20, 2018

Talkin' Heads #10

TITLE: Dust after Slaying
GENRE: NA Urban Fantasy

Dee, a homeschooling mother, slays the occasional vampire that comes her way. She and her friend Hope follow a map that may lead to the source of the vampires.

Dee was grateful they were walking on grass that didn’t crackle too much, since it was still soft from September rains. “I suppose now I should start waving my flashlight around for no reason as we walk, the way all those stupid people do on TV shows where they’re hunting vampires or werewolves.”
Hope brought the smartphone closer to her face. It was finally lit enough to show she was frowning. “You really watch the werewolf stuff?”
“I guess there’s not as much on TV about werewolves as there is about vampires. But those novels in bookstores with threatening covers—eyes filled with contempt, strange tattoos, edged weapons—and those are just the women!”
“Doesn’t it bother you that they portray werewolves and other such things as sexy nowadays?”
“Sex sells, sister.”
Hope came to a dead stop. “This makes no sense. The path we’ve been following from this map keeps going straight. But you can see where the trail we’re walking on goes.” She gestured to the left, where the trail curved.
“Isn’t that just some tiny blip your map doesn’t show?”
“No, this trail we’re on doesn’t curve back to match the online path. You can see why.” She pointed to the steep hillside ahead of them. “Are we supposed to climb up and hike cross-country?”
“The answer is in front of your face.” Dee pointed with her flashlight.


  1. The dialogue sounds natural to me, with the exception of the echo of "on TV". And there is suspense building that they may be on the wrong trail & I'd like to see what follows. But I found this bit confusing:

    "Hope brought the smartphone closer to her face. It was finally lit enough to show she was frowning."

    To me it sounds like Hope is using the phone as a mirror, but I'm not sure that's what the intent is as I think she'd need it to either light the way or look at the map. Maybe some rephrasing would make it clearer.

    On another note, I like the way you characterize the setting with a few well-chosen adjectives.

  2. I'm a little confused about how dark it is outside. It sounds like they have zero light other than a flashlight and a phone and yet Hope can somehow see the trail and hillside way up ahead.

    I also think you need more internal thoughts and possibly some reactions. Dee makes a joke and Hope doesn't seem to laugh or smile at all. And we don't see Dee acting surprised when Hope points out the problem with the map. She should occasionally have to think about things before she speaks.

    Good luck!