Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #33

TITLE: My Sister's Dating a Serial Killer
GENRE: YA Thriller

Cammie is sure her older sister is dating a serial killer and she must stop her, although she has no hard evidence yet. They're in their bedroom discussing Cammie's theory.

I hold myself back and say, "You shouldn't let some creep back you. It gives him way too much control over you, and he's power-hungry."

"He's no such thing and don't say he is. Where is my slipper? Find my slipper."

"Very well, madam, I will find your slipper and put it on your foot and make you into a princess." I bow to her, mocking, but she's too busy putting blush on her cheeks to notice.

When my attempts at drama and humor are ignored, I open the bathroom door to wet towels and the smell of toothpaste. One pink strap glimmers up at me, half-hidden under the crumpled white throw rug by the sink. I whisk the shoe into my hand, go back into the bedroom, and plop it into her hand.

Before I let go of her footwear, I make one last effort to convince her. "You've got to reconsider dating that guy."

"Why?" She yanks the shoe out of my hand.

I plop down onto my bed and stare at her, but not before I wrinkle my nose and scrunch my eyes. "Oh, I don't know, maybe because he loves to torment and hunt small animals and then stuff them. Then there's the fact he almost killed me yesterday."


  1. I can picture this conversation in action, which is a great sign. :) That's what you want dialogue to do. However, the context threw me off in places. The younger sister claims to attempt drama and humor, but I assume she's referring to her tongue-in-cheek snark, which isn't dramatic and not very funny.

    The bit in the bathroom is superfluous and I think the scene without these details would be stronger. At first I thought she was going into the bathroom to wet some towels and I couldn't understand why. Consider condensing this paragraph to a single sentence.

    The rest is good. Nice job. :)

  2. I agree, the bathroom stuff threw me a little. And would she be snarky and attempt humor if she's trying to convince her sister she's dating a serial killer? If this has an overall lighter tone, I could see it, but as a thriller with a serial killer, it feels like that angle of communication is inappropriate. Maybe she could think those things internally, but out loud she is pleading with her sister to hear her out. I think it depends on the tone you want to set with your story, and with this scene.

    The intro line stumped me a litte:
    I hold myself back and say, "You shouldn't let some creep back you."

    Holding self back and then talking seemed incongruous; what is she holding back? The words "You should let some creep back you" feels like it's missing a word. I suggest rephrasing this so the intention is more clear.

    Good luck!

  3. I agree with not bothering to show the bathroom, and just mention the pink strap when she plops it into her sister's hand.

    This bit of dialog may be too short to judge, but the dialog sounds more adult than young adult.

  4. I like the idea of this, though based on the tone and the title it doesn't seem like a thriller to me (though obviously this is a very short excerpt).

    I do like the humor and tongue-in-cheek stuff going on and they sound link sisters. I agree that "let some creep back you" seems like it's missing a word or something.

    I also found that the older sister's first line was a little rough. I would take out "and don't say he is" because it sounds awkward or unnecessary.

    I don't think the bathroom section needs to be taken out, but do agree that it doesn't quite work, particularly the wet towel line.

    I loved Cammie's last line about the supposed serial killer. Definitely hooked my interest!

  5. I love the way this moved but I am confused. Some of the dialogue seems a bit dated. Such as:

    "He's no such thing and don't say he is. Where is my slipper? Find my slipper."

    When is the story set or is this merely in jest. Clarification may help here.

    Other than that, this set of dialogue really drew me in:)