Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #19

TITLE: Shadowcatchers
GENRE: Upper MG Fantasy

Meescha (aka the girl) has just caught up to Zane after scaring him by warning an angry mob that a soul repo man was in their midst.

“I think you owe me a thank you.”

Zane looked down at her in disbelief. “A thank you? For what? You could've got me killed. And you ruined my chance my rich master's errands,” Zane finished lamely. That was close. Why did this girl get him so messed up?

“Yeah, but I could've told them just who to go after, but I didn't. Do you think you'd have gotten away so easily if I'd given your description to the mob?”

“So why didn't you, then? What, did you just want to see me run scared because I told you to flit off?”

She made a face. “Please. I didn't want you to get hurt, I just wanted to make sure that Councilor Waterbane kept her shadow.”

“I told you, I'm not a Shadowcatcher!” Zane lied, his eyes straying toward the Councilor's office.

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I know what you are. In fact, I'd bet I know more about what you are than you do.”

“Is that so?”

“Yeah, that's so. But I'd be happy to show you. All you have to do is follow me.”


  1. I like the overall concept here. I'm assuming that "shadows" are souls?

    I liked the back and forth element and it was easy to follow who was speaking even though the tags were kept at a minimum.

    The one part that keeps snagging my attention as being awkward is the section after Zane's first lines. Particularly Why did this girl get him so messed up?

    There's just something about it that doesn't flow quite right.

    I would also get rid of one or both of the "just"s - Having them so close together makes them stand out more, but I definitely think the first one in Zane's line What, did you just want to see... doesn't work well.

    I like the voice of the characters and the overall scene plays well.

  2. You had me at "soul repo man" :D I really enjoyed the back and forth between these two. It has a fun feel to it.

    Consider cutting "I think" from the first para. Because she's saying it, it's already clear she thinks he owes her a thank you.

    In the 2nd para "Zane looked down at her in disbelief." Consider moving this behind "For what?" IMHO, Zane's tone is what makes it clear she that knows the look he's giving her is in a fact disbelief as opposed to anger or something else.

    I also agree with Rebecca's comment regarding "Why did this girl get him so messed up?" Maybe italicize and make this a direct thought, something like: This girl really messes with my head.

    3rd para, 1st sent. Consider cutting "Yeah, but' and "just"

  3. I know this is just a snippet, but is Zane sweaty after his scare? Is he hot or cold? Does he notice the lack of any of these in Meescha, who's playing things cool? If you mentioned these right before this scene, that would make sense, but after a scare or a chase, people should at least breathe hard.

  4. First off, just want to say I love the idea of a "soul repo man." :-)

    I found this one hard to critique b/c I didn't get a good grasp of what was going on. Obviously it's out of context, but it's also not very visual.

    One thing I did notice is an overuse of the word "just" in the dialogue.

    This is a nitpicky thing - I'm not sure why you have a "..." in this sentence: "you ruined my chance my rich master's errands." There's no need for a pause there. I've gotten in the habit of taking all the "..." out of my dialogue and if the character really needs to pause, I interrupt the sentence with something - a gesture perhaps.

    I agree with CherylAnne's suggestions. Tightening up some awkward phrasing (especially the "Yeah, but I could've told them just who to go after" line) would be good as well.

  5. Thanks, everyone, your comments were really helpful.