Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dialogue GG

Nicholas looked up when he entered. His eyes widened as he took in Gabriel's [his brother's] posture and saw that he was cradling his arm. “What happened?” he asked quickly, setting down the pen and extracting himself from under the paperwork. [I often try to get out from under paperwork, but this sounds like he's literally wedged under it.]

Gabriel sat on the edge of the closest sofa. “You should see the other guy.”

Nicholas stopped in front of him and dropped to one knee. He met his brother’s eyes. “What happened?” he asked again, accustomed to Gabriel’s humor and ignoring it.

“I made a new friend,” Gabriel said lightly.

Nicholas sat back on his heels. “Are you going to make me ask again?”

Gabriel tried to move his fingers and found he could almost make a fist. “I think I met the guy who followed Chris.”

“You fought with him, I take it? Did you chase him off?” Nicholas’ [His] gaze traveled down to Gabriel’s arm. “Is that broken?”

Gabriel gave a short laugh that was lacking in humor. “Yeah, we fought, but I don’t really think I chased him off.”

Nicholas sighed. “Sometimes I want to hit you. Will you just tell me what happened?” [They fought. He didn't manage to chase him off. Weren't you listening?]

Gabriel smiled at his brother. “It’s more fun to irritate you.”

--Brigid

The main problem was that the back and forth between the two people got annoying, especially with the names Gabriel and Nicholas coming up so often. I got rid of a couple lines and four names, which may be good enough.

4 comments:

stick and move said...

Not sure you want the characters irritating each other with dialogue. You might be irritating the reader, too.

writtenwyrdd said...

Be careful of vague references like you used in "Nicholas looked up when he entered." Pronouns generally reference the closest noun.

Take a look at the actions you describe and see how some of them are distracting from the flow of the dialog. The speech itself is pretty good, made me interested in what was going on; but some of the tags are in need of work. I think that just a bit of editing will improve this tremendously.

Examples:
1) "Gabriel said lightly." this is tellign when you could just say something like "he shrugged."
2) "His eyes widened" is a bit of pov shift. Normally people don't notice their own eyes widening. However, you will get arguments about whether this is a problem or not, lol.
3) "Nicholas sat back on his heels." Awkward. made me mentally trip and pause to contemplate what you meant. I've heard the phrase, but it doesn't really work here.

Anonymous said...

Gabriel comes off as irritating, all right; I think this would be the point where I chuck the book into the wall. It's a personal preference. I'd like this scene more if they got to the point more quickly, or if Gabriel was wittier. Again, personal taste!

Good luck!

--Detri (dialogue J)

whitemouse said...

With EE's suggested deletions, I really liked this. I would like it to get to the point a bit faster, however; too many wisecracks and I start losing patience with a character.

I liked the two boys and thought their dialogue had a nice zippiness to it. Good work!