Thursday, January 14, 2016

Talkin' Heads #2

TITLE: Crosses of Silver
GENRE: Adult - Historical Fantasy

Maeve, a respected Seer and Elder in her village has been spending a lot of time with Alcinder a newcomer who's presence in her village was forewarned as part of a Roman invasion to her clan's land. 

“If you don’t know how to celebrate Yule, yet you are to join us, someone has to teach you.” Maeve mused aloud, a quiver in her voice. Turning to me, “unless you know which man part you want to play?”

“There is more than one part for a man to play -- What do you mean, go hunting in the middle of winter?” I shook my head, violently to clear the cobwebs. “There can't be anything worth eating out there.”

“Real men, men who are hunters go out, and usually find something.”

“You mean boys with something to prove.”

 “At least they have pride enough to prove something, merchant.”

“Merchant now? I am a patriot of the Roman empire.”

“This isn’t Rome. We do things as a proper people of the land.”

“People? Where are they? Rome is coming to claim you.”

“Then we will fight you Roman.”

“Then you and your yuletide will die.”

“Why can you not talk like a real man? I brought you here to talk about you being with me for yule.”

“Why would I want to be with some backwards barbarian woman?”

“No wonder the village elders will not help you, stubborn Roman!”

“Do you really want to die instead of join us?” Maeve sounded incredulous.

“You really want me to be part of this Yule?”




  1. Nice tension between these characters. I think I see a difficult romance blooming here!

    I think this could be strengthened with more tags and beats. Show us the scene and how they are growing angry with each other. That would feel more real rather than them going from 0 to 100 on the anger scale just through their words.

    "Unless you know which man part you want to play..." This was very confusing. I had no idea what she was talking about. It is also a bit awkwardly phrased -- man part... :/ I'd rephrase.

    Then he talks about man parts and then jumps to hunting in winter. That was a part I didn't follow. Things always make more sense to us as writers because we know what's going on in our own stories. Read dialogue to others and see if they can follow to make sure you're explaining well.

  2. Nice! Taking a step back to visually review the page, the first few lines appear top-heavy with added narrative followed by a string of unattributed dialogue. I think a little more balance will round this out. Like Tiffany Dawn said above, adding in some beats and internal feelings will round this out. You can absolutely leave a few lines back and forth for pacing, then for your POV character, add in something about how they are feeling, what sensations their body is feeling, or if this conversation reminds them of something else (tying back to an earlier plot point, for example). It doesn't have to be long description but enough to shed more light on the character.

  3. As long as it is deep in the story, this much back and forth without any dialog tags or beats works fine.
    What did confuse me is Maeve seeming to have two lines in a row. Normally they would be joined together as one paragraph.

  4. I like this dialogue. There's a lot of tension between these two people. But if some tags and or beats were added we'd get another layer of who these people are, what they are doing and what's going on around them.