Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #50

TITLE: War of the Worlds Mashup
GENRE: Fantasy

In this mashup of The War of the Worlds, Ashley narrates after her pixie friend Violet just met a pixie artilleryman.

“He gave quite an impression.” I pressed my advantage as we sat in the drawing room. “How do you make him?”

Violet put on the most impassive demeanor, as if we were discussing a neighbor’s fern collection. “Strong. Dutiful.”

“So’s his horse.” I leaned my elbow on the arm of the sofa, familiar. “You can say it, Violet: He’s a pixie, you’re a pixie. He’s unmarried, you’re unmarried.”

“You wish me to form some deep impression of him, though I barely know the man.” She fanned herself.

“Feeling a bit heated, are we?”

“It’s this jacket, is all.”

“Yes, you had us wear this ‘practical’ manner of clothing again, though it still smells of perspiration. But don’t get me off topic! Don’t even try. You had us dress this way, after bathing! In case we have to traipse out again to see what’s left of the Martians after your precious Cutter is done with them.”

“He’s not my precious anything. We just talked for a bit.”

I brought my legs up onto the sofa so I could shift into a more aggressive lean. “Yes, and you said all that gush about Jake, when we had barely talked, so let me torture you for a turn.”

“There’s no point. Yes, I enjoyed talking to him, and ‘course I ran up and brushed him off after they sent him alone into the dangerous Common. But he’s in the military. After they’re done here, he’ll go off to wherever they station him next.”


  1. I thought this scene was really cute. I can get a feeling for both their personalities. I love the horse remark! I was a bit confused about the jackets, but I'm sure they make sense in context.

  2. You might cut down the exclamation points, which are distracting and weak, and figure out why the dialog itself doesn't convey the urgency and emotion suggested by the punctuation. Sometimes interposing a line of description may add power to this kind of coffee-klatsch conversation.

  3. In the first few exchanges I thought there were some overly formal moments ("you wish me to form some deep impression of him, though I barely know the man"), but they became more natural as time went on. She might be a formal kind of character, in which case it's okay, but the rest of it doesn't really read that way--just be sure to read it all aloud to make sure it comes out sounding like something a person would actually say instead of something we'd write, which is naturally more formal.

  4. An interesting scene, but you may want to work more on diction. At first, your MC sounded quite modern, but then she shifted into a more formal style without any explanation... it was a bit confusing. In general, I felt I could have connected much more with the characters if the dialogue hadn't sounded so formal.

  5. I thought all of this sounded quite nice except for the paragraph about how they were dressed. Sounds too formal for the rest of it, and didn't quite read like conversation. But I'm not familiar with pixie speak, so perhaps they are more formal when talking about things outside their norm.

  6. I like how your characters can have a bit of a formal, old-fashioned tilt to their dialogue while keeping a reader-friendly type voice. I'd just suggest changing the "so's" to "so is" to fit better, but I absolutely loved the "It's this jacket." :)

  7. I agree with the comments above. I thought the exchange was cute but I also was confused on a few aspects. For example when she put her elbow on the sofa and there is a comma then the word formal.

  8. I like your use of an 'aggressive lean'. I also like the concept of payback teasing amidst a war. I thought their choice of words was a bit stiff for a casual conversation and the bit about the jackets seemed distracting to the purpose of the convo and overly explanatory between two familiar characters. Your humor is spot on and enjoyable. I love your practical female warriors. Keep up the good work and happy writing! ~gregorific