Wednesday, February 24, 2010

32 Talkin' Heads

TITLE: Inside Out
GENRE: Mainstream Fiction
EMOTION: Expectation

Short Intro: Rick and Laura have been best friends since college. When Laura’s ambitious plans for success fail and she finds herself without a job and no direction, Laura accepts Rick’s offer of a job and a guest room in his home until she can get back on her feet. A short time later, Rick receives a late night phone call of a robbery at his office. Returning home a couple hours later, he sits on the couch with Laura, who has been waiting for him to return. The robbery was an ill-planned attempt by a teenage boy.

Laura felt almost sorry for the boy now awaiting his parent's arrival at the police substation. "If our kid ever pulled a stunt like that I’d tan his hide." Laura’s flushed with embarrassment at her unintended implication.

"Yes," Rick mused, lost in thought. "But not until he knew we still loved him." Rick sat in silent thought for a moment before realizing their joint blunder. But instead of embarrassment, Rick simply looked at Laura seeming, she felt, to search her soul. Then, slipping his arm around her shoulders he changed the subject. "What on earth are you watching?"

More fully aware of the warmth of Rick’s body beside her and the light scent of his aftershave, Laura gratefully focused her attention back to the television screen where Kitty Bennett was again behaving foolishly. "Pride and Prejudice, the BBC version." She said. "Only the best movie ever."

"Best?" Rick challenged. "Nothing is better than Star Wars."

"Having not seen Star Wars, I'll reserve judgment. But don't set your hopes too high."

Rick grasped at his chest, leaning away from Laura in mock horror. "Oh my poor heart. How could you live this long without seeing The Trilogy? Tonight, you and me are having a marathon.

Laura smiled as Rick stood. "Fine, but later this week, you and Me are watching P&P. The whole thing."

"I make no guarantees." Rick teased, leaving the room.


  1. I think your dialogue is solid but I'd suggest a couple of changes:
    1) Rick can't realize a joint blunder. He can only realize what's in his own head.
    2) The second paragraph is part in Rick's head, part in Laura's. The reader can only be in one head at a time (otherwise you're head jumping). You can fix this by removing Laura's thought, "seeming, she felt, to search her soul. "

  2. Dang, blogger ate my last comment. Essentially, my points were like Holly said, the head-hopping is confusing and disorienting. Pick one POV per scene.

    Also, it seems like he should be absolutely floored that she hasn't seen Star Wars. He should say something like, "Are you Amish?"...really, is there anyone in America who hasn't seen Star Wars?

    Good luck.

  3. This has promise, and you do convey expectation.

    I agree with the other posters about point of view. Pick one point of view and stick with it.

    You also have minor errors that distract me from enjoying the dialogue. A few examples:

    parent's: should be parents'

    Laura’s flushed with embarrassment at her unintended implication.

    Laura flushed...

    Good luck to you.

  4. Uh oh. I haven't seen Star Wars! Oh wait, I'm in Canada... :-)

  5. As long as you've received a couple of clean-up suggestions, I'll add another. In your second paragraph, you've got "mused, lost in thought," which is more or less redundant. Then you have "in silent thought" in the next sentence. I think your paragraph would be much stronger if you began it: "Yes, but not until he knew we still loved him." Then you could delete the second sentence altogether and condense the 3rd to: "Rick looked at Laura, seeming to search her soul." And continue with your closing 2 sentences.

    My favorite part of your piece is: Rick grasped at his chest, leaning away from Laura in mock horror. "Oh my poor heart. How could you live this long without seeing The Trilogy?" I really like this voice and it makes me like Rick.

  6. I like this a lot. Rick and Laura seem like fun characters. I find them very believable as a couple.
    (Shehap looks at bookcase where DVD box sets of both P&P and Star Wars trilogy sit side by side. Smiles at memories of watching each with his wife. Sighs.) I'm not sure why.
    A few quibbles: It's "you and I", not "you and me," and certainly not "you and Me." Both of those were distracting to me. But maybe only me.
    Now my 'geek' quibbles. The BBC Pride and Prejudice was a mini-series, not a movie.
    Also, the Original Trilogy of Star Wars would take almost eight hours to watch, and the whole she-bang would take over fourteen. So if he was responding to a 'late night phone call,' and it's already been a few hours before he gets back, there is not earthly way they could watch that marathon the same night. Maybe change to "this Saturday" or perhaps "over the next few days"?
    There. I'm a total geek. But I liked this a lot.