Wednesday, February 24, 2010

18 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: Leave a Comment
GENRE: Contemporary YA
EMOTION: Contempt for her wealthy grandmother conveyed by 15 yr old protag

“Remember when I was six and she took my Barbies out of my bag before we left for the Christmas Eve church service because they were wearing mini skirts? She said Jesus didn’t want to see trash like that. The woman thinks she can speak for JE-SUS!”

“She’s a little overbearing but she means well, Kendra. She’s always been very generous toward you.”

I rolled my eyes. “Yeah, with money. She thinks she can use her money to make people do whatever she wants. She practically came right out and said it in my thirteenth birthday card. Do you remember what she wrote?

‘Dearest Kendra, We hope you have a wonderful birthday. Stay sweet. Love, Grandpa and Grandma Martin. P.S. Remember, your grandfather and I have vowed to disown any of our grandchildren who get tattoos. I just thought a reminder might be in order now that you’re a teenager.’

Seriously? Like I was going to blow out the candles on my Dance-a-Mania birthday cake and demand somebody take me immediately to get the number thirteen tattooed on my left butt cheek? Who writes something like that in her granddaughter’s birthday card? She’s crazy.”

“As I recall, she probably felt the need to do that because, when she came to visit two weeks earlier and took us all out to lunch, you told the waitress with the full sleeve tattoos on both arms you liked her ink and asked her where she had it done. Then you looked right at your grandmother.


  1. I feel that you conveyed the emotions very well. My only piece of advice would be to add more beats. I want to know where they are and what they're doing while having this conversation.

  2. I agree that you have conveyed the contempt well. I am not sure who Kendra is speaking to but it sounds like her mother. If it is, it doesn't make sense for her to give the details of the card and cake to someone who would have seen both. Unless the birthday was the day before, I also don't think she would remember the text word-for-word. It might read better is you paraphrase rather than quote.

  3. Love it. The "15-year-old contempt" comes through loud and clear. The above comments make some great technical points.

  4. This is good dialogue. You might break it up a bit with more description of what the characters are doing during this discussion or maybe some interior monologue for the main character. Just for some variety. Who is the main character talking to? It sounds like it might be her mother.

  5. You got me with the Barbies in mini-skirts! The birthday card is a hoot. The detail about the birthday cake and the tattoo on the left butt cheek is funny.

    Contempt is shown quite well.

    I agree that you need to break this up a bit with some actions. Who is she talking to?

    Good stuff!

  6. Very good. I laughed after the last paragraph. Contempt and baiting, all in one. :)

    I agree with the others who would like the conversation broken up just a little bit with some action.

  7. Cute. :)

    The first sentance did strike me as being particularly long my first time through. Is there a way to shorten it?

    Also, she if she is talking to her mom, she probably wouldn't need to repeat word or word what was in that birthday card; her mom would certainly remember. It reads like it's in the dialogue to tell readers. If this is the case, just tell us about it outside the dialogue.

    An interesting read! :)