Friday, March 16, 2007

Dialogue B

She’d grown to expect it. Sooner or later, everyone asked. No, that wasn’t precisely true. Sooner or later, everyone who didn’t know better, asked.

“So, what are you, anyway?” She turned to Daniel and stared at him. “What am I?”

“You know,” he said, running his finger up and down his face. “Your looks, where do they come from?”

It made her angry. It always made her angry. In fact, it might never stop making her angry. [You're taking baby steps. It always had made her angry, and it always would. Same thing in one sentence. ] She almost felt bad afterward. But why did it matter? [Can't tell if she's wondering why it matters to them what she looks like, or why it matters to her that they ask. I'd delete the sentence. In fact, I'd delete this whole paragraph. It interrupts the dialogue to provide information we can infer from the dialogue.] Why did everyone always want to know?

“I don’t know, actually.”

He looked puzzled. “You don’t know? But...?”

She looked him straight in the eye. “No, I don’t.”

“Oh. I’m sorry. I mean, I’m really sorry, I didn’t know that you were...” He looked to her for help.

She raised her eyebrow. Waited. Shook her head a little.

“I’m sorry,” he said.

She shrugged and walked away.


It would be a great opening/continuation if she shrugged and flew away, and turned out to be a parrot. Dialogue: not bad. Other stuff: not needed.


Dave said...

I like the idea of opening with an unknown. "what are you?" makes the reader want to read more to find out what she is.

One of the endearing mysteries of the show ER was Dr Weaver's (Laura Innes) limp. She walked with a crutch. The writers never said what was wrong for many years. That made the character different and that difference drove her personality.

It's nice to keep part of a character hidden. Especially if it means something to the story. You show the effects but not the cause.

McKoala said...

I found this dialogue a bit frustrating; it seemed to take a while to get anywhere. But it may be appropriate to the character/the book.

whitemouse said...

I too found this a bit frustrating. She mad, but I have absolutely no idea why she's mad, and then she walks away.

Because I don't know or empathise with the character yet, this just seems rude to me, so I'm not being drawn into the story.

Of course, this dialogue may have been pulled from the middle of a book, so perhaps in the context of the novel, it all works. Stand-alone, I don't think it does.

Technically, the writing seems just fine.

writtenwyrdd said...

This doesn't offer enough for me to understand what's going on. I did begin to feel the pov character is probably so stuck on the thing that people keep noticing it will turn out to be something minor, something that turns out to be innocuous. Like maybe she's in a costume and no one can figure out who she is pretending to be.