Monday, August 20, 2018

Talkin' Heads #5

TITLE: Run Or Be Dragged
GENRE: Adult Romantic Suspense

Nick and Elena are sitting at the table in a moving RV, and have just discovered the driver implicated them in armed robbery at their last stop. The driver is Nick's cousin, Elena suspects they're part of the mob.

“I’m sorry,” Nick said softly. “I had no idea he was going to do that.”
I shrugged. It didn’t really affect me after all. “I won’t tell anyone what happened when I get home. You don’t have to worry about me turning him in.”
Nick shifted in his seat. “You know you’re coming with us, right?”
“What?” I spluttered. “Why? The cops don’t even have my name!”
“They’ve got your face and that’s all they need to find your name,” Nick said gently.
“But you said your Dad could work it out!”
“That’ll take time. At least a week, maybe more.”
“But—but,” I stammered, unable to mount a good argument.
“I don’t like it either,” he grumbled. “If you’ve got a better idea I’d like to hear it.”
Using my arms as a cushion, I laid my head on the table and tried to reason my way out of this. I was dead broke, there was no way the cops would believe I wasn’t in on a robbery scheme. Telling them I’d been abducted might help if Nick backed me up, but would he? What was my other option? Would ‘lying low’ even work?
Nick patted my back absently. “It’ll be alright. You won’t go to jail, I’ll make sure of it.”
I was not reassured.
“Well, you’re taking it a lot better than I expected,” he said, after a minute. “I thought you were gonna try to bail out the side door again.”


  1. Interesting premise. I found the tags a bit wordy for such a short passage (softly, shrugged, spluttered, gently, stammered, grumbled, patted absently). I know this exercise was focusing on dialogue (which seemed authentic)..I'd edit the tags for simplicity of action and well-defined emotion. Lean and whisper.. Also edit (after a minute) and replace with action...count how many billboards passed, verses on the radio. etc... whatever fits your character and the scene to demonstrate elapsed time. Good luck!!!

  2. I agree there are too many dialogue tags. I'm also puzzled that Elena's face is all they need--is this futuristic, with instant facial I.D.? Is she already wanted by the law?
    The casualness of Nick as he ruins Elena's life is interesting.

  3. Your dialogue sounds natural and you've got a good balance of internal thought (although I would have expected a bit more panic in this situation). I would suggest you eliminate some of the "creative" dialogue tags and kill all the ly adverbs.

    Good luck!