Monday, August 20, 2018

Talkin' Heads #4

GENRE: Adult Mystery

Hotshot arson expert Draymond “Dino” Bernadino helps an old friend (Chief Sinclair) investigate a baffling series of devastating fires plaguing her city. They have just met with the Mayor.

Dino shook his head and fired off an action list for the Chief’s assistant. “Execute every mutual aid agreement to ensure you have full coverage for your crews at all hours. Secure non-essential utilities. Keep your lines charged.” He ticked off a number of other items before eyeing Chief Sinclair. “You trust the guy? Need me to call the Governor?”
“The Tips scene isn’t secure yet, but I’ll take the Mayor over there so he can get his picture on TV. Who knows, maybe we’ll get lucky.” She winked. “One last thing. You still a hard ass? Do everything by the book?”
“Of course,” Dino said. “Rules save lives.”
“No exceptions.”
“Good, because we have to stop the idiot behind these fires. I’m putting you in charge of my fire investigation teams. And I want you to lead the Arson Task Force. Start here at Kinkaid, then check in with Tips Command.”
Dino scratched his head. “I think ATF would rather I serve in more of an advisory capacity. This is still your investigation. I’ll work with your Fire Marshal.”
“That’ll be tricky, since I fired him two weeks ago.”
“What about—”
Chief Sinclair waved her hand. “I’ve already cleared it with your boss. He was delighted you’d accepted a leadership role. I can scrape together five investigation teams today. North Charleston and Summerville Fire Departments will kick in more later, if needed. Keep me in the loop.”
“Glad to see you haven’t lost your ability to persuade people.”


  1. The sentence beginning with "Execute every" sounds cumbersome if he is firing off an action list. Also, the phrase "because we have to stop the idiot behind these fires" is not only unnecessary, it gets between her approving of how he keeps the rules and her putting him in charge.
    I know this is just an excerpt, but we need a little detail on the physical background of where they are. Perhaps you cut it out to make the word limit.
    Otherwise, this moves the story forward at a decision point.

  2. I assume this is Dino's POV. If so, we need a lot more internal thoughts showing what he thinks of what she's saying. For example, when you say, "Dino scratched his head", you are attempting to show us that he's thinking about what she said, but this would be a lot stronger if we actually SAW him think about it.

    Good luck!