Monday, May 17, 2010

Let's Talk! Dialogue Fest!

Wow it has been blogfest central around these parts! Today is the Let's Talk Blogfest, hosted by Roni over at Fiction Groupie! I figured since I started the Thairon bandwagon, I might as well continue on. Plus, that book is kind of minimalist in style when it comes to the dialogue (read: talking heads syndromish), so it seemed fitting for this fest. Be sure to follow the link and check out the other contributors!

Thairon thought that Gwen was dead until he ran into her in the woods while on vacation--or at least a woman who looked just like her. Setta is 20 years too young, but she has all of Gwen's memories, and Thairon has no intention of losing the love of his life a second time! This scene takes place while they're still trying to figure out how to reconnect.

Stomping outside the door drew his attention. He opened it and raised an eyebrow. Setta paused in the act of removing one of her boots, looking up at him. She blushed and pulled her other boot off, setting them both outside the door.

“What did you get into?”

“The river bank is muddy.” She shrugged and slipped past him into the cabin.

He let her and shut the door again. “Aren’t you worried the wildlife will run off with your shoes?”

She laughed and walked to the kitchen sink, grabbing a glass down and pouring herself some water. “Why would they want my shoes?”

“Don’t wolves like to chew on things?”

“The wolves won’t bother my shoes.”

He raised both eyebrows at the confidence in her tone. “I guess I’ll take your word for it.”

“I guess you’ll have to.” She smiled. “What did you do this morning? Work? Aren’t you supposed to be on vacation? Who does work on vacation?”

“A lot of people. Especially when they’re CEOs of international corporations.”

“I miss your non-workaholic days.”

He grinned. “I’ll work on it. If you’ll provide me with something to come home to of distraction.”

“Hmph. We’ll see. Where’s Mr. Hale?”

“You know, he won’t be offended if you call him Marcus.”

She shrugged again and tipped back her water glass, draining it before getting herself a refill.

“I gave him the rest of the day off. Because you’re going to shout at me shortly, and I didn’t want him to have to cower in the bedroom while we went at it.”

She laughed. “Oh yeah?”

“Yes.”

“You’re sure?”

“Positive.”

“Exactly what did you do while I left you alone for four hours to make me that annoyed?”

He cleared his throat and walked around the kitchen so that the table was between them. Just in case she decided to try to scratch his eyes out. “I paid off your credit cards.”

She set the glass down. Loudly. “Excuse me?”

“You said we were going to fight about it. And I was going to win, ultimately, so I just went ahead with it.”

“How can you even do that?”

“Banks don’t care who is paying them, as long as they get paid. I called them up and told them that I wanted to pay the balances. They were more than happy to accept my money. They even offered me a line of credit, when they realized who I was.” He smirked.

She glared at him. “I’m going to pay you back.”

“If you do that, then I can’t write it off on my taxes.”

“You’re so impossible! I’m not your charity case! I thought I made that clear!”

“You’re right. You’re not my charity case. If I gave you the money I give to charities in a single year, you’d be able to live off the interest for the rest of your life.”

“That’s not the point. At all. You can’t just sweep in here and co-op my personal finances without my permission. It’s none of your business! Did it never occur to you that maybe I have something to prove? To myself? To my family?”

“Which you, Setta? Which family? And since when have you measured your success by the money you make? Take your pride out of the equation and realize that I’m going to do everything in my power to take care of you, now that I know you’re here. Whether you want it or not. Whether you want to be with me, or not. Even if it means paying for your wedding to some other man.”

“So what else then? What next? What else are you going to take from me? My choices about what I should eat for dinner? Are you going to regiment my meals, so that I have perfect nutrition, so I’ll never suffer from high cholesterol? Where does it stop?”

“Don’t be ridiculous.”

“Oh. I’m being ridiculous. For wanting to pay my own bills. What isn’t within your power? Just so I know what you won’t be getting involved with.”

“Very little.”

“You could get me fired, couldn’t you?”

He didn’t say anything. It would have been folly to admit to it when she used that tone.

Her eyes widened and she stared at him, taking a half step back. “And blacklisted everywhere?”

“It would be more trouble than it was worth to do so.”

“But you could.” Her face was white.

He walked around the table, reaching for her. “Setta, I wouldn’t.”

She stepped back. “Wouldn’t you? If you thought that it would be better for me? If you thought it would make me happy? If you were convinced of it?”

He stopped before she backed up into the counter. He didn’t want her to feel trapped. He didn’t want her looking at him that way either. He wasn’t a monster. Or at least he wasn’t a threat to her. Never to her.

“I wouldn’t. I would never take that away from you. Taking care of your financial woes is hardly the same thing.”

She shook her head. “You can’t do this. You can’t just… You can’t just do these things without my permission.” She looked like she was going to cry, but her jaw was tight and she blinked back the moisture in her eyes. “This isn’t going to work Thairon. I can’t do this. This isn’t going to work.”

“Setta.” She was already brushing past him, on her way back to the door. He grabbed her by the arm, pulling her up short. “Gwen, wait.”

She pulled her arm away. “I’m sorry.”

And then the door slammed behind her, and she was gone.
Hope you enjoyed it! You see what I mean when I say it's kind of minimalist? I'm still trying to decide if that's a good thing or a bad one.

(You can find two other Thairon scenes, if you are so inclined, as my contributions for the Love At First Sight blogfest and the Flirt Fest!)

36 comments:

  1. I like the dialogue! It's definitely minimalist, but sometimes that can be a good thing to push a reader forward. And this one has enough tags to not get confusing- I hate it when there's a scene with all dialogue and no tags- I get confused as to who's talking after a while.

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  2. I was a little confused...I prefer more tags. Although I just realized I have zero in my entry so...
    BTW can I hang with that guy? I have too many CC bills.
    He does realize she had to put her boots back on, right? Go after her!
    Nice.

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  3. Aw! I thought I'd be the first to comment!

    Oh, dear. Thairon! I have to read you before I can make any judgments on you, but your actions here seem a bit ridiculous!

    Very lovely scene, Amalia! I like that you're posting some other work.

    OK, I'm going to be posting a scene from your favorite of my short stories, too. I had to check and make sure, but this one, I signed up for...and I had best take part!

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  4. Stephanie: me too. If there are more than two people talking, I need lots of tags. Just two, you can get away with fewer. I'm still on the fence about this minimalism-- sometimes I love it, other times I hate it.

    Andrew: You will have to fight me to hang out with him. If he's real, I get dibs! Also, pfft, boots. She's definitely not stopping to put the boots on.

    Sarah: YOU JUST MADE MY NIGHT. I can't wait to read it!!! also, I can't wait to hear what you think of Thairon when you read the book :)

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  5. Nicely done. I like how the character thinks wolves will treat shoes the same way that puppies do. Had to hide my shoes last week when visiting my dad cause the puppy would grab them, shorts, pants, paper, bags, pillows...

    Anyways. Great post with lots of dialogue.

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  6. I'm one of those people who doesn't like tags. The minimalism works well. There's no question, who's speaking because the voices are distinct. Setta is upset and Thairon is placating. Tags are only necessary if attribution is unclear or if you need a beat. Neither is the case here. Very nice job!

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  7. I like the minimalist effect :~) I didn't get confused so you don't need the tags ;~)

    Thairon just gets more interesting by the minute! Why can't Setta understand he's never be a threat to her?? Actually I totally sort of get why so very well played, I feel like they both have valid points :P

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  8. Dawn: Thanks! Let's just say that wild animals are not exactly Thairon's area of expertise :) I think he'd know exactly how to handle a shark though.

    VR: Hooray! I will take you at your word! I'm looking forward to reading your scene, too!

    Mia: haha! I'm glad! I dream of converting everyone to Thairon-love, someday! Even Setta :P

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  9. I agree that this minimalist setup works. Its clear who's speaking, and how they feel. That's awesome! It makes it flow SO much easier and lets the reader focus more on the story, than trying to figure out what you're trying to say. :) Major kudos!

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  10. Good voice; excellent forward progress. I got a clear sense of the characters from the dialogue, from the context. May not have worked if there was more than the two in the conversation; but it was excellent here.

    Well done.

    .........dhole

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  11. A good thing, definitely.

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  12. Talking heads? Where? This was perfect. You, my friend, are good at dialogue. And I'm with Andrew, I'll take Thairon. Friend, sugar daddy, whatevs:)

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  13. I didn't get confused, and I like not tripping over tags for just two people. Like Mia, I like them both and see both sides, so I kept getting pulled back and forth like a tennis match. :)

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  14. I loved it! I got choked up when I read this line:

    "Even if it means paying for your wedding to some other man."

    Yup. Another fictitious man that I'm in love with now... (gee thanks!) lol

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  15. I think it's safe to say that Thairon is a character to swoon over. Let me know when this gets published so I can send you some virtual champagne.

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  16. Liked this a lot, and I love how he calls her Gwen at the end. I didn't think there were too few action beats since the dialogue carried the scene, but that could be personal preference. I tend to favor the talking heads thing. Great entry!

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  17. Wow! It is AWESOME to check my email and see this many comments!!!

    Thank you so much Lilah! After reading your scene, I feel humbled by your compliments!

    Donna: Thank you! I agree, if there had been more than two people it wouldn't have worked at all.

    Stu: Thanks for stopping by!

    Tina: Amen to the Thairon stuff. I will take it! And Thank you :)

    Charity: haha! I just imagined your head bopping back and forth after the ball :) Thanks!!

    Kristen: I knoooowww! When I wrote this scene, I almost cried myself. That sounds totally cheese of me, but it is the truth. I got all tight-chest-lump-in-throat-heart-racing-tears-in-the-eyes about it.

    Valerie: Thanks! You will DEFINITELY hear about it, I am SURE! :P God willing, anyway.

    KM: Thanks! I feel awful for the guy. So glad you liked it, even though it isn't my usual historical/mythology stuff :)

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  18. What a great scene - lots of tension! At first I thought she was crazy to get mad, but she had me convinced by the end. Really well written!

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  19. Enjoyed it immensely. The dialogue was very sparkly, and while it is my dream to have some guy pay off my credit cards, you made me understand why it wasn't Setta's. Well done.

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  20. Amalia, What a well-written scene.

    Tension. Strong dialogue. Hmph on the tags, that's an opinion, just make sure it's clear.

    Typical female reaction. Man does something noble. Says something unconditionally obsessive (" ... even to another man.")

    Then she gets miffed and storms off because, well, she's a woman and that's what women do.

    Again I'll say it: Women. Medication from birth.

    I figure your next scene is this dude at the bar, buying a round for everyone and toting a stogie and trying to wrap his noggin around why the heck women are never, never, never ever ever happy.

    ;)

    - Eric

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  21. This flowed very nicely and the tension totally drew me in. I don't like dialogue that's so bogged in tags and beats that it no longer feels like speech but like "book-ese", if you know what I mean. I think you strike a good balance here.

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  22. Susan: Thanks! That's great to hear!! I have to admit that I wouldn't be all that upset myself, either :P

    Monica: Who doesn't dream of it! Thairon can pay my bills any time he likes, that is for sure! :) Thanks!

    Eric: Maybe she just knows him well enough to see how his virtues will turn into vices if not kept in check.

    And you're wrong about the next scene :P

    Laurel: Thanks!! I'm glad you liked it!

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  23. Very interesting plot (right up my alley!) and the dialogue is very compelling. Oh, what I wouldn't give to have some handsome man pay off my credit cards :] but at the same time, her reaction is very realistic. It seems kind of controlling. Would like to know more about these charcters.

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  24. I really like how you develop this scene so that at first it seems she may be overreacting. But then we see he has power to alter her life if he decides it's best. That's a sobering thought and she does the only thing she can. But he is also a sympathetic character who seems to love her, so I feel pulled between them. Wonderful work.

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  25. Amalia - I usually hit yours close to last. Because, you know...the best for last and all ;)

    Well, I came through your link in my comments, and as usual, I'm not disappointed in any way. I always love your stuff! I really love Setta/Gwen, and that Thairon is a hottie and good guy.

    I laughed at Erics comment because my thought was: typical male, always butting their chauvinistic a$$es in when it's none of heir business, lol. Of course, if someone wants to pay my bills, more power to them ;)

    The dialogue was tagless (woohoo!!) and superb.

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  26. Margo: Thank you! I thought after reading your premise, that it might be interesting to you :)

    Tricia: I totally want to say that I meant to do that--but uhm, I didn't. Thank you though!

    Tara: *blush* Thank you!! I always enjoy your work as well! I feel the same way about someone paying my bills-- under the right circumstances, anyway. :P

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  27. I'm in the pro minimalist crowd, FWIW. Nicely done and not confusing, IMO.

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  28. I think the minimalist approach works in this scene. I could really feel the tension between the two of them. From the description and the names I was expecting a fantasy, so mention of credit cards suddenly changed my whole perspective, but not in a bad way. Good job.

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  29. I felt like Angie--a little confused about setting and genre, but I suppose that would be cleared up in the rest of the longer work.

    I like the tension between a controlling worrier and a fiercely independent, yet sort of fearful young girl. She seems afraid of the power imbalance, even if he shows it in a "nice" way.

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  30. Bane: Thanks for stopping by and adding your two-cents. I appreciate it!

    Angie: Ahah. Sorry about that-- I guess a genre label would not have gone amiss :) Thanks!

    Genie: That's the problem with picking a scene that doesn't have anything but dialogue in it! :) I promise that the book opens much more clearly! Thanks for the comment!

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  31. I thought it was quite clear with minimal dialogue tags--well done. Your set-up was intriguing, too!

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  32. Big mistake on his part. He meant well, but it's going to be hard for him to bounce back. I empathized with her position. Good job.

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  33. I really loved this piece. I wasn't bothered by too many or too few dialogue tags; I thought ti was just right. It certainly made me want to read more.

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  34. I think the minimalism works well cos it's just the two of them - and they're arguing! Unless you put in tags describing what their hands and feet are doing, for instance. Is he holding up his hands in defence? Backing off?
    He should have at least told her before he went and did that! :-)

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  35. Sorry I'm just here. I'm such a blogfest hoster slacker. :)

    I really enjoyed your scene and didn't notice the lack of tags, so the minimalist approach worked. Makes me want to know what happens with them next. :)

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  36. Ruth: Thanks!

    Ralfast: Totally agreed! Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

    Andria: Thank you!!

    Deniz: Yeah, I hesitated to clutter it up with actions because I worried it would slow it down too much. Thanks for commenting!

    Roni: haha! no worries! I know you are swamped with blogfest entries! :) Thanks for taking the time to stop by and comment! :)

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