Saturday, March 17, 2007

Dialogue Q

“Carly! How nice of you to come by. Are you staying awhile?”

Um, we[--]

“We’re going to the store, Dad.” Loraine brushed by him and headed out the door without a glance in his direction.

Oh, I see.” Mr. Winslow['s] reacted exactly as I knew he would. His face fell, causing brown-framed glasses to slide down his nose. Unable to push them back up, he stood in the doorway, shifting the bags and his weight in an attempt to balance the two better. “I’ll expect you back for dinner. I’m making[--]

Another frozen meal? Great. As if I need to be on time for that. Eat without me. I’ll just heat it up when I get home, so don’t bother to fix me one. Just leave it in the freezer.” Loraine motioned to me to go out onto the porch with her, so I did.

“Fine. But, you still need to be home by curfew, Honey,” Mr. Winslow said.


“Do you need money for the store?” Loraine was already turning away, keys in hand.


I had no choice but to follow. “See you later, Mr. Winslow!” I called over my shoulder.


Dad bringing in the groceries is not likely to be one of the more riveting scenes in the book. It's here presumably to show Loraine's disdain for her father. If you're trying to make a point with a boring scene, it's best to make it fast and get out. You don't want to lose anyone. Thus the cuts.

Winslow arrives home with two grocery bags. Loraine brushes by him and heads out the door. This seems to indicate that he's made it past the doorway. But later he's standing in the doorway holding the bags. If he never was inside the house, both girls managed to walk out a doorway in which a man was standing holding two grocery bags. Most people would get inside and put the bags down.

Use a dash when someone gets interrupted.


writtenwyrdd said...

I think that these cuts really make the scene flow. It might be even better to streamline the action more by having Lorraine keep on going as dad calls after her, "Be back by curfew." Then Loraine says over her shoulder, "Whatever," and the pov character feel awkward and let him scramble past with the nearly-dropped groceries.

whitemouse said...

I agree that the piece really needs the streamlining that EE suggested. There was too much extra fluff there.

However, you do a great job of showing what's going on and what the characters are like. I feel I've got a very good grip on the personalities of each of the three, and given that this is such a small excerpt, that implies a lot of skill on the part of the writer. Good work!

Anonymous said...

Aww! I liked Mr. W. :)

I thought this was pretty competent, and at least moderately interesting--I wouldn't put it down here, but I'd hope for something more soon.

--Detri (dialogue J)