Monday, January 28, 2013

Talkin' Heads #8

TITLE: Buddy
GENRE: fiction

Juliette’s newly adopted dog keeps running off, and she thinks it may be her fault. Miracle is an elderly uncle of the foster family she’s living with.

“Why does he keep running away?” My voice sounding pathetic even to my own ears.

Miracle didn’t look up from whatever he was doing. “Who says he ran away?”

What a crazy question. “Well, he isn’t here, is he? Of course he ran away.”

Miracle glanced up at me for a second. Then he picked up one of the red sticks and began cutting it into small sections with a wicked looking knife. I backed to the far side of the deck. The red sticks looked an awful lot like dynamite. “What are you doing, Miracle?”

He cackled and waved the remainder of the stick around. “Just getting ready for some fishing. But let’s get back to your dog.” He looked at me then, and his face became serious. “Dog’s aren’t like folks. Just cause they like to go off on their own every once in awhile, without telling anyone their plans, don’t mean they’re running away. Shoot, dogs love to explore. And they don’t always understand limits such as yards or property lines, or time. They pick up on a scent, and they just gotta follow their nose.”

“Tabitha doesn’t run off.” I flinched when he cut off another chunk of dynamite. “Is that safe?”

Miracle smiled when he looked up. “Safe as a mother’s arms, for now.” He held it up and pointed to one end. “Haven’t put the fuses in yet.”


  1. LOVE. Miracle has a great voice. Even the long segment of dialogue didn't seem too long to me. Nice.

  2. Be careful of using a person's name when talking to him/her in a dyadic scene. Real people almost never do this unless they're trying to get someone's attention (when it goes at the start of a sentence) or reproving them (think of a parent using a child's name as a lightly weighted club). "What are you doing, Miracle?"

    Why does Miracle use "gotta" and "don't" as third person singular but not "ain't" ("dogs aren't like")?

    I can't visualize his last action, picking up a sliver of dynamite and pointing to where the fuse isn't yet in place; it seems awkward. If he points to anything, it would be more likely to be the pile of fusing string on the porch floor.

    Overall, there's a nice rapport between these characters and it flows well.

  3. I thought this worked well. The dialogue seemed natural and age appropriate, and I got a good sense of who you're characters were. My only suggestion would be in the first sentence. Should it read - My voice 'sounds' rather than sounding?

  4. I like the back and forth dialogue here, and I love Miracle's po9int about dogs not telling us where they're going-- it rings really true.

    The phrase "whatever he was doing" early on bothers me a hair-- maybe use that as a chance to describe what he's doing-- or the start of what he's doing. She's close enough to him to see what hes doing.

    Overall, nice work.

  5. A comment not related to dialog --- I am pretty sure you never cut dynamite, as the interior of a classic dynamite stick is loose material soaked in nitroglycerin. Some modern explosives you can cut, like C4. Just a heads up, something you may want to look into.

  6. I like Miracles personality. His personality seemed more developed. I was a little thrown by the changes in tense during the dialogue.

  7. Thanks everyone for the awesome comments and suggestions. I appreciate your help.