Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Useless Dialogue

I really love this dialogue, but I can't use it. Or I haven't figured out how to use it. It's part of a scene that I had to backtrack and rewrite, but I couldn't bring myself to delete it because I liked the exchange too much. So. I'm posting it here so that other people can enjoy the ridiculousness. It isn't part of any book. It's just some gratuitous crap I've been working on for myself. And when I say for myself, I mean for my personal entertainment.

The man, Donnar, who Hannah's talking to is, of course, Thor (taken roughly from the old German and modernized). I guess he's trying to keep a low profile. Hannah is in Iceland with a, uh, friend, when Donnar shows up-- the friend, Jake, has no idea who Donnar is, but Hannah knows. In the first bit, Jake is annoyed that Hannah is going to ditch him for Donnar. In the second bit, Donnar becomes involved in the conversation after Jake makes the mistake of attempting to literally shake some sense into her.

I sighed and looked up. "Look, Jake, I'm sorry. But we both knew that whatever this was, it wasn't going to last."

"No," he said, his face hardening into lines I didn't like. I had never really liked his face, but when he laughed, when he was talking, it was easy to forget. His charisma overpowered you. Except when he was angry. Then it was just frightening. "This was my chance. Our chance. After all this time. Now you're going to just throw it away for some pro-wrestler-looking idiot?"

"You really shouldn't call him that," I mumbled.

"Yeah, well, he can grind my bones to make his bread if he's offended."

I pressed my lips together to keep from laughing. Because it was true and ludicrous and Jake didn't even realize what he was saying. The lines in his face were deep grooves, now. He wouldn't have found it funny if I started laughing.

Donnar smiled. An altogether different expression from the one he had shown me earlier. This one was dark and smug and threatening, like a wolf stalking prey. He didn't have to say anything. Jake stepped back.

"It is one thing to treat a woman the way she likes to be treated," Donnar said, his voice low. "And quite another thing to manhandle her without respect. Touch her in anger again, and I'll rip out your throat."

My stomach turned to ice. "Donnar!"

"It's all right, Hannah. I'm sure that Jake understands my meaning."

"You can't just go around threatening people with death," I murmured.

Donnar turned to me, one eyebrow raised, and I realized very suddenly that he absolutely could. We stood on his lands. And even if we hadn't, there was very little he could not do.

I took his hand and drew him away. "What you can do, and what you should do are two different things," I said. "And I let him treat me this way. Punish me, not him, for the result."

Donnar smiled, smoothing the frown from my forehead. "I will be many things for you, anything you wish me to be, but not your judge. I am not your god."

"You aren't his, either."

Donnar glanced back at Jake, and I saw what he did. Red hair and enough height that he would have been tall beside anyone else. Anyone but a god. "Viking Irish, I would guess."

"Then only half yours. Let him go."
So yeah. This is me selfishly preserving words I can't even justify keeping in my writing when I'm not writing for anyone else.  For my own amusement. Feel free to disregard!

Are there any awesome one-liners or exchanges that you had to cut from your WIP that you wished desperately you could have kept? Or throw a party with the muse when you can squeeze them back in? And uhm... am I the only one who writes gratuitous crap just for themselves with no intention of ever making it into something publishable?


  1. Aww, that's really fun dialouge! Too bad you had to cut it. :( Most of the time, I cut dialouge without mourning it - writing it was fun, and writing replacement dialouge will be fun too. Sometimes I AM an ity bit attached though. :D

  2. I find that I mourn my dialogue more than anything else when I cut it :) But it's not often that I get SO attached. I just couldn't resist Hannah telling Thor he can't just go around threatening people. :P

  3. I will let you know when I finish my editing. I like it as well, I understand your attachment.

  4. haha. Thanks. sometimes I wonder if it's only really fun to me, after I cut this stuff :) Good luck editing!

  5. Fun exchange! I like the line about not really liking his face. Little zingers like that are great.

  6. Yeah, I think I'll probably find a way to incorporate that into the story in a different place. It's just so oddly perfect. Thanks, Stephanie!

  7. You should enter it into Michelle Gregory's deleted scene blogfest! Then at least it will be used for something, right?

    Share Your Darlings Blogfest

  8. Ahh! I hadn't heard of that one! Maybe I will :)

  9. I love these! i LOVE how short and sweet they are.

    I TOTES get attached to scenes like these too.

  10. Thanks Mia :) These are both from the same scene-- I just skipped the middle stuff because it wasn't nearly as fun :P

  11. This is nice diaolgue, but if it doesn't fit, it doesn't fit.

  12. Exactly. It's just hard to let go after the cut.

  13. Love the exchange :) And the physical descriptions are so unique it drew me right into the characters. Lot of tension here.

    I've written several passages that started out appropriate, but grew and grew and went off on their own. I knew it wouldn't fit the novel, let alone the scene that started it. But what can you do when the mood to write something hits. Just go with it, enjoy it, and tuck it away somewhere you can access it later either for your own amusement, or to clarify a later idea that stems from it.

    Sometimes, writing can be just for fun.


  14. Donna: Thanks! I'm glad you enjoyed it :) That's kind of exactly how it happened for me too, in this instance-- it grew out of the moment. These worked, but took the story too far and too fast toward a place I didn't want it to go quite yet. I was just too entertained by Hannah's "you can't do that--errr--oh. maybe you can." :)


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