Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dialogue HH

(Soren, a R&D engineer, and Shani, a scramjet pilot, are making out in her office behind a closed door.)


"Two hours to pre-flight!" a baritone voice said.

Soren and Shani sprang apart, looking at each other guiltily. "Bastard," Shani muttered under her breath. "I've got a clock in here, James!" she shouted. "I know what time it is!"

James'[s] chortle came through the door clearly. "Just didn't want you getting wrapped up in something."

"I can see your smirk in here," Shani retorted.

More laughter, multiple voices. Soren turned bright red and buried his face in the crook of his arm.

"I'll be there!" Shani shouted. "Jeez!"

After the voices outside the door moved away,[;] Soren breathed a sigh of relief.

"You OK?" Shani asked.

"I will be," he said, fighting the blush. [You can fight a blush?]

"Well, it's not like we're a secret," she pointed out.

"Definitely not since [you got tanked and played cave woman at] the Christmas party!"

"Hey, I didn't..."

"You got tanked and played cave woman!"

"Well, you wouldn't pick me up."

"Not in front of everybody!"

Shani laughed. "Wimpy engineer boy. It's not that hard. Here, let me show you again."

Soren let out a yelp and dodged around the desk. "No! I don't need to be bench pressed again!"

"Awh, come on. Please?"


--Gerri Baxter

Nice scene, showing an interesting relationship.


McKoala said...

LOL EE's additions. I wondered why he was such a wimp that he hid his blushes in the crook of his arm. That seems like something a kid would do. Dialogue was fine, though.

McKoala said...

Hang on, cavewoman and party are not EE additions, just shifted. Like it, though.

A. said...

The pacing was pretty good on this one, and it set a nice scene.

I'd avoid turns of phrase like, "sprang apart," and ending a sentence on an adverb like, "guiltily," though.

With a little extra work you can avoid the slight schlock factor there.

I'm not part of the hardcore Writers Against The Use of Adverbs vanguard--they're in the language for a reason--just don't end a line with 'em.

writtenwyrdd said...

this does have an interesting dynamic and leaves me with the impression the gal is calling teh shots. I read the others' suggestions and don't have anything new to add. I liked it except the crook of the arm bit. That sounded ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

I hope the suggestion to replace the comma with a semicolon was a typo?!?!?

Evil Editor said...

No, not a typo. Did you happen to note the words deleted from the portion before the comma?

Anonymous said...


I didn't quite like the "I can see your smirk in here," line. Maybe "You're smirking, aren't you?"

I was really impressed with EE's edits on this one.

-Detri (dialogue J)

whitemouse said...

I liked it up until the voices moved away and the lovers started being flirty with each other. It's very cute, but I hope things move on to more interesting matters soon. My attention started wandering.

Gimme plot-candy, baby. :-)

Gerri said...

Author here.

TYVM for the feedback. EE, I'd half agree with you. The voices thing, yah, that could be tightened (hurray for first drafts!), but I don't agree with the dialogue changes, not that the changes are bad. However, the dialogue pacing would change, and I'd really hesitate to try to tighten that up at the price of changing the pace.

BTW, this particular dialogue is on page 23, and it's more of a character development scene with some plot added in. The reason Soren is all blushing acting like a kid is to show his immaturity about how he thinks he's perceived in a relationship. Shani and Soren get hassled because it embarasses him, not her.

This is a bit of old dialogue, too, from several years ago. If I were starting over, I'd probably add a few more specific description things. Again, TYVM for the comments.

Wonderwood said...

try saying "slight schlock factor" five times quickly, Dr. Hack. Hell, just try saying it once...