Dialogue #8

For the first time, Walsh set his entire attention on Xaphan. He stuck out his hand. "Detective Denis Walsh. And you are?"
Xaphan had to think about it. Although he could betray Jane right there and then, which would be fun, he was suddenly sure that finding out Jane's secrets would be even more fun. He shook the man's hand. "I am...very glad to meet you."
"He's my brother-in-law," Jane said. "Through marriage. Ex-marriage."
Detective Walsh nodded at Xaphan's handcuff marks. "What happened to your wrist?"
Xaphan hastily took his hand back. "Uhh..."
"Uhh..." said Jane.
And with the exquisite timing of the undead, at that moment Frank called out from his cage, "What the hell is going on out there? What's happening?"
The silence that followed lasted approximately two and half days before Jane finally managed, "That's the TV in my bedroom."
Walsh's expression didn't change. "No, it's not."


Jaye says:

That darned Frank! He's always speaking up at the worst times. Funny scene, but I think a couple tweaks might kick it up a notch.

For example, you've got this great bit here: "And with the exquisite timing of the undead, at that moment Frank called out from his cage, "What the hell is going on out there? What's happening?" But try this: "And with the exquisite timing of the undead, Frank chose that moment to call out from his cage." Small difference, but more effective IMO.

Also, I feel like Walsh's last line is kind of a let down. You build up all this funny tension to get to this part, and his reaction has to be the pay off. So he needs to say something really hilarious or do something that's the last thing they want him to do. Since I havent' read the rest of the scene, I have no idea what that would be. But I bet you know.

I'll let Stacia take it from here.


Stacia says:

Hmm. I'm going to have to disagree with Jaye on that last line, much as it pains me. I actually really like it and think it's a great character moment for Walsh, and nicely tense. I like that he's so to-the-point and not allowing them to get away with anything. He cuts right through the crap with that one, and I dig that.

But, I agree with everything else. A lot of these action beats could be tighter. Like "Xaphan had to think about it. Although he could betray Jane right there and then, which would be fun, he was suddenly sure that finding out Jane's secrets would be even more fun. He shook the man's hand."

You could cut that down to something like: Xaphan thought about it. He could betray Jane, which was always fun, or he could back her up and make her tell him her secrets in exchange. That would be even more fun. He shook the man's hand.

Also, instead of Xaphan "hastily [taking]" his hand back, he could snatch his hand back. You always want to go for the most active verb possible. It doesn't have to be a snatch, he could pull his hand back, or yank his hand back, or hide his hand, or whatever you like.

Last, instead of using a regular tag when Jane says "Uhhh..." maybe she could shuffle her feet, or blink, or glance at Zaphan like she's looking for him to help her or something. It's not wrong the way it is, that's just what I would do.

This is a really, really fun scene, though. I like it a lot, and I'm sure the ms itself is just as much fun! I got a real kick out of this one.

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