Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Talking Heads #13

TITLE: My Favorite Mistake
GENRE: NA Romance

Will is helping his new tenant Katie move, and is about to meet her roommate for the first time.

"I thought you said you had a dog," he says, dubiously eyeing the door.

“I do. I also said she was small.”

“That doesn’t sound like a dog. It sounds like a chipmunk on crack.”

I can’t really argue. She does. The door is barely open before she bursts outside, looping around my ankles and barking at Will, hopping on all fours with every outburst.

“That’s a dog?”

“So I’m told.”

“That is not a dog,” he tells me. “It’s a wind-up toy.” He looks into the apartment’s depths, then back down at the frantic pup. “Where’s the rest of it?”

Phoebe pauses her hopping to snort. Then she prances over to his feet and promptly squats.

Will jumps backwards. “Hey!”

I snort, choking on a laugh. “I don’t think she likes you.”

“All girls like me.”

He frowns, so disconcerted by the idea, I have to fight not to laugh again. “Questionable, but I suppose none of them have expressed their opinions by peeing on you before.” A wicked grin crosses his features, and he opens his mouth. I hold up both hands. “Don’t. I truly don’t ever want to know.”

I go inside and deposit my phone and keys on the kitchen counter. Phoebe charges ahead, stopping on the landing to turn around and bark frantically at Will, who is right behind me.

“So I don’t have—” I start, but the words die when I see what he is doing. Will wipes away the glower he was directing at my dog and blinks innocently at me. “Right. Picking fights with animals one fiftieth your size is very macho.”

“And yet you keep insisting on calling that thing a dog. I had an Irish Wolfhound growing up. This—” He gestures to Phoebe, still barking. “—would have been a snack to King. Oophf.”

He catches the box I sling at him. “I really appreciate your help, Will.” Hands still on the box, I lean forward, adding my weight. His biceps strain against the fabric of his shirt and there is a smile in his eyes. “But if you keep making fun of my dog, you will be late for work.”

“You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

Recognizing the quote, I burst out laughing, backing up and covering my mouth. He grins. “Get a move on, Kitten. You’re cutting into my dinner time.”


  1. Very good. Some fresh writing. Liked the chipmunk on crack line and the wind-up toy line.

    Dialogue was distinctive between the two characters. Easy to tell who was talking without any tags.

    I also thought your dialogue cues and action tags were solid and professional. Polished writing. If I was an NA romance fan, I'd read more.

  2. I really liked the scene. The flow was pretty natural, the tags were mostly obvious, and the banter was very humorous. I want them to get together.

    Only the last line confused me because it's preceded by "He grins," but it's a part of the paragraph that starts with her actions. I'm not sure who's saying it.

  3. I liked this scene. I didn't have a problem distinguishing between Will and Katie. The action tags were enough that I knew who was speaking. And the dialogue between the two were distinctive.

    I would suggest to make the "He grins" a part of the proceeding line of Will's dialogue. So it would be

    He grins. "Get a move on..."

    Good job! The scene flowed very well. It made me like them and want to know their story.

  4. Nice voice in this excerpt. One thing I'd suggest switching up (or out) is Will says "that doesn't sound like a dog" then "that's a dog?" then again "that is not a dog" which all too much of the same in such a short space. The third instance could be removed so you just have the more interesting phrase "it's a wind-up toy."

    I like the Princess Bride quote too, cute.

  5. I enjoyed this one; the dialogue is natural and it easily conveys a sense of the characters and their relationship.

    But I noticed several places where you have description of Will or what he's doing in the middle of Katie's dialogue. Though there's always exceptions, it's usually best to treat each character's unspoken response or description the same as if they had spoken and make it a separate paragraph.

    Also, I think the order feels off when he says 'Ooph' before you say that he catches the box she slings at him; I would switch that around.

    Overall, this sounds like a fun story -- and I also loved the Princess Bride quote! :)

  6. This needs more tension. Instead of having her agree when Will first insults her dog, consider having her get a little peeved. Let her anger grow a little more every time he makes another negative comment. That helps justify the dog's negative reaction (dogs are perceptive) and leads to the point where Katie catches him giving the dog the evil eye.

    Pet owners love their pets. They may allow others to insult them to be polite, and even agree with them for the same reason, but they would still have a negative emotional reaction to those insults.

    For me, this guy is totally cringe worthy. I hope that is what you were going for.