Wednesday, February 24, 2010

17 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: The Quest
GENRE: Fantasy
EMOTION: Self-directed anger, mournful

This bit of writing takes place in the middle of the night in a bedroom (does that sound bad?). Markha and Luke are the characters.

“John,” he whispered.

“I blame myself,” Markha said, jumping up from the bed and turning her back towards Luke. “I should have known he was coming. He must have been coming for me. I was the strong one there, I should have stayed and fought. But I let John push my mind and send me away. I am the one with too many abilities for any one Kin, and I was too weak to stop John from sending me away. I should have fought by his side and then we would have won.” She turned again and stared at Luke. “I’m so sorry,” she cried and covered her face with her hands. “It should have been me! I’m no one. I have no family to miss me. It should have been me!”

Luke shook off the momentary shock that had paralyzed him for a moment at the end of Markha’s story and jumped off the bed.

“Markha,” he gathered her in his arms again, “you must stop believing that, this very instant! John loved you. I know he did because he married you. And he knew that he had to protect you. I don’t know why he had to die the way he did, but it must serve some greater purpose. And his protection of you must have as well. He sent you to me for a reason and we’ll discover that reason together.” He wiped the tears from her cheek. “John will not have died in vain. We will not let that happen.”


  1. Very intriguing. My only issue is this bit here:
    Luke shook off the momentary shock that had paralyzed him for a moment at the end of Markha’s story and jumped off the bed.

    It's too wordy. Try something like : Luke jumped off the bed, shaking away the paralyzing shock of Markha's words.

  2. I really like Markha's use of "I" at the beginning of each sentence. It really shows how much she blames herself for what happened.

  3. Luke - his paragraph (i.e., diatribe) is too long and too dramatic . . . "it must serve some greater purpose" . . . "will not have died in vain", etc. I picture some Shakespearean actor over-acting. Sorry, not meaning to be harsh. Luke's section just seems a bit over the top. Obviously, John was his friend . . . where's his pain and sorrow, his emotion that he lost a friend?? I don't even get the sense of implied anger, or something, just . . . drama.

    Markha - I get a sense of her overwhelming responsibility for John's death, her guilt, and her sense that she should have done something more than she did. I'm sympathetic to her. I feel her pain.


  4. Hi, this entry is mine. I guess I should have been more clear about John and Luke's relationship: they're twin brothers. Does that make any difference? Or should I still tone it down? I've been worried that Luke is too...whimpy?

  5. Very interesting.

    It may just be the genre (I don't read much fantasy) but the dialogue felt a bit too formal. I'm also not sure if Markha is confessing something, or if this is a story Luke should already know, but her paragraph feels a little 'As you know, Bob' to me.

    I did feel that she felt responsible and remorseful, so I think the emotions are very clear.

  6. Markha's anguish is coming through very well for me.

    I know this exercise is all about dialogue, but I think Luke would actually benefit from a little less talking - now I'm sounding like a bad country song! :)

    Alternatively, break up the paragraph where he's speaking by taking his actions at the beginning and end of it, and combining them in the middle. A couple contractions while he speaks might help a lot too. I think you'll hit on something that works for you in no time.