Wednesday, February 24, 2010

22 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: Summer Lovin'
GENRE: Romantic Suspense
EMOTION: frustration

On vacation in Mexico, Stacy, the heroine, is being conned by her husband Nathan's enemy--Cortez. Near the end of the story here, the dive shop owned by a friend is broken into. And this is where things start coming together.

She wanted to go to her husband and smooth the lines that marred his forehead.

“Don't worry, we'll get him, Mrs. Gerard.”

She smiled. “I'm sure you will. Do you think he's here, Nathan?”

He shrugged. “Maybe. Look, let's not talk about this right now, okay? I have contacts set up to warn me if Cortez is on the move. I haven't heard from any of them. This could just as easily have been a regular, old-fashioned break in.”

Stacy held up her hands. “No problem. We'll clean up and spend the day lounging on the beach. Right?” If there was a hint of sarcasm in her voice, she could only hope he got the message.

“That's right, Stacy. Vacation as usual.”

Except this hadn't exactly been a usual vacation so far.

Picking up a pile of rumpled canvas, Nathan shook it out. A hat flew from the folds and flipped across the room. “Whoa, watch it.”

“Aiyee. Nice toss, Nate,” Jaime said with a laugh as he caught it in mid air. “I wonder whose it is.”

"Berries." Stacy sniffed the air again. “Give me that.”

Taking it from Jaime, she ran her hands over the rim and lifted it to her nose.

“Ew, Honey. That's gross.” Nathan's lips twitched as he help back a laugh.

“I know that smell.”

Nathan lifted a brow. “I'm not sure I want to know.”

Rolling her eyes, she held it out to him. “Berries. Go ahead, smell it!”


  1. I didn't get frustration from this. It sounded more like Stacy was just going along with the plan. The only line that sort of hints that she'd rather be doing something else is the first one.

    Point of confusion:
    The dialogue afer the first line first read like it came from her husband because he was the last person mentioned. I'm not sure who is speaking there.

    The line "That's right, Stacy' sounds too forced since she just used his name. I wouldn't excect a husband and wife to use their names frequently in conversation.

    The fact that people are laughing drains any tension from this scene. I would expect some level of tension to be if there was frustration involved.

  2. I agree that the laughter and smiling don't convey the frustration you're intending. You might be able to keep them in, though, as long as you do something to indicate that their attempts at levity are strained, that there's an underlying tension with every laugh. Right now I'm mostly getting a feeling of easy camaraderie.

  3. Who says the first line?

    I agree the laughing doesn't show frustration. I was very confused by the berries too.

    It is well written and has a nice flow of dialogue.

  4. It's unclear who says the first line of dialogue. If it is the husband, then it's odd he calls her Mrs. Gerard. Unless this is their honeymoon, which I don't get from mentions of usual vacation.

    I don't get frustration so much as annoyance. I'd expect more tension right after a break-in.

  5. I'm guessing that the 3rd person in the room, Jaime, is the one who says: “Don't worry, we'll get him, Mrs. Gerard.” If that's so, the beginning works fine for me.

    I also sense frustration/irritation when Nate says: “Maybe. Look, let's not talk about this right now, okay?" Also, when Stacy holds up her hands and says "No problem." (The combination of the action and the words conveys frustration/annoyance to me.) The reference to sarcasm reinforces that and even Nate's next line: “That's right, Stacy. Vacation as usual.” could be annoyed, irritated, curt, etc.

    It's from here on that I have problems. Can't tell who says “Whoa, watch it.” The laughter seems out of place. Stacy "sniffed the air again" but I can't find where she sniffed it before, and, finally, the “Ew, Honey. That's gross.” comment doesn't have the same commanding voice as the "He shrugged" and "That's right" paragraphs.

    That said, these are all minor problems. A word change here and there and I think you've got it.