ON WRITING

“It’s very easy to quit during the first ten years of writing. Nobody cares whether you write or not, and it’s very hard to write when nobody cares one way or the other. You can’t get fired if you don’t write, and most of the time you don’t get rewarded if you do. But don’t quit.” Andre Dubus

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Let's Talk Blogfest Dialogue

Today, with much fear and trembling, I'm taking part in Fiction Groupie's Let's Talk Blogfest. The rule for today is that we have to post a short passage of dialogue from one of our WIP and others who have signed up will drop by and (hopefully) comment. If you drop by and are not signed up, please feel free to drop a comment. We all aim for sparkly dialogue but practise makes perfect...or does it?

My entry is a passage from the beginning of a Rom/Com short story in progress. A coffee shop scene with dialogue between two besties, one the cafe owner and the other her celeb-type best friend:

 ***

 
Angie’s favourite café looked different. Hands on hips, she stood at the door, puzzled. She was a girl who liked everything under control, everything just so. But today something was strangely out of place.

Aha! That’s it! she thought. Her beautiful little table at the window had some random guy...What the..?


Angie stepped inside. She wasn’t going to solve her problem standing on the doorstep. Putting some extra pep in her step, she relished the sound of her high-heels clanging and clunking on Sylvie’s shiny wooden floorboards.


She raised a perfectly-waxed eyebrow at Sylvie, her good friend and owner of Chez Sylvie (or part-owner as Sylvie liked to say—which part was never clear to Angie.) But Sylvie was avoiding eye contact, looking very busy hunched over the hissing coffee machine.


‘The usual thank you Sylvie darling,’ Angie purred, popping her strawberry-blond locks with thirty shades of highlights behind the steamy espresso machine.

‘Uh, hello Ange. Won’t be a tick. Just have a latté to go.’

Angie tapped her French-manicured nails on the zinc counter.

‘It wouldn’t be for that guy at my table, would it?’ she hissed.

‘Ah, actually, well, yes it would be, Pumpkin. He’s got good taste, hey? Headed straight for your table. Dumped the Reserved sign. No stopping him.’

‘But, Sylvie, you know it means…’

‘Sorry Pumpkin. I’ve got to take his coffee over.’

‘Allow me!’ Angie snatched the cup, grabbed the tiny tongs and dropped a mini shortbread onto the saucer.

‘Now Angie..!’

‘Don’t mention it Sil. T’rah!’ A swish of frilly red sundress, a toss of luscious long locks, and Angie was gone.

‘Careful!’ Sylvie called, wincing as the coffee jangled in its saucer.

Angie clumped to a halt at the table. The stranger acted surprised, although she’d been watching him watching her ever since she’d arrived.

19 comments:

  1. Thanks for participating in the blog fest, you get to be the first entry time zone wise. Tomorrow is still a while away here in Texas! :)

    Looks like you have some sassy characters there!

    ReplyDelete
  2. That was interesting :) I would definitely keep reading to see what happens. I did end up confused about who's pov it is. At first I thought it was Sylvie, then by the end I thought it was Angie. Also, I don't get who is where. Is Angie ordering coffee from Sylvie?

    Maybe these are just things I don't get bc I didn't get to read the whole thing. (One of the probs w 'fests.) Either way, I am already curious to see if the guy really was watching Angie, or if it was in her head. :) Major kudos for the post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. I entered early too. But severe weather to cut my power, and there is no telling when it might be put back on. Louisiana weather can be terrible for long, long stretches.

    I like your entry. And yes, it was a little confusing. Trusting to only dialogue can be a chancy thing. But you lived up to the parameters of the blogfest grandly and with style. Bravo, Roland

    If you're feeling brave, you might wander over to my blog and see what I did. I hope you enjoy it, Roland

    ReplyDelete
  4. Well guys, after peeping at a few more entrie I see I was too literal with just entering dialogue, rather confusing you all. Well, I've offered a little more. Now I hope the dialogue sparkles with understanding...lol

    ReplyDelete
  5. Don't know if you intended it but I'm totally seeing "absolutely fabulous" here. Made me crack up laughing! Awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I found your "Dialogue Sparkles" dead-on. Your entry was fine before. Now it is excellent. Bravo. I like your voice. I wanted to read more and find out what happened next, Roland

    ReplyDelete
  7. SO much better with that extra little bit added! I could appreciate it way more and to its fullest extent. Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  8. hmmmm I sense a romance in the wind! Nice when a short passage makes you ponder what comes before and what is set to follow...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hey, great entry! I like the dialogue (and yes I get images of AbFab, too)...though some things are a little unclear (probably just me, though)...‘Uh, hello Ange. Won’t be a tick. Just have a latté to go.’ - she's suggesting Angie get a latte to go? Coz first I though she was preparing a latte to go for the gentleman who stole Angie's table...

    And who is the cheeky man with the latte? Can we hear more, pretty please? ; )

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ooh...this sounds like it's going to get exciting! You've done a wonderful job with characterization, I can totally see Angie and her thirty shades of highlights, French manicured nails, and perfectly waxed eyebrows. Very fun piece!

    ReplyDelete
  11. To all of you lovely people. thank you for positive comments.
    Roland, thanks for the 'sparkly dialogue' comment, glad it was less confusing second time around.
    Juanita, glad you cracked up, that was so the idea, darling, as Joanne would say,
    Lilah, thanks for commenting a second time. Looks like it read much better to you.
    Missy, I guess in a short story you have to make every word count so the reader will be intrigued,
    Tessa, thanks for the helpful comment about the latte-I see that now. Always a problem when we know what we know and overlook the fact that the reader doesn't. I've finished the story and the cheeky man with the latte is lovely of course...hmm,hopefully it'll be published in a local mag,
    Susan, that was music to my ears re characterisation. That's what we want to hear, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hey :) this is a great piece.. Loved the way Angie sported a no-nonsense, I'll get what I want, attitude.. Bit of POV hop though, but overall wonderful ;) and cant wait to read more. !!!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Popped over from Tessa's. Nice to meet a fellow Aussie! :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I'm also getting the feeling of AbFab. There are some really neat lines of description here too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Very cute! "She had been watching him watch her..." I love that line and it adds such a punch to the end.

    Thanks for visiting my blog :) I'm a follower of yours now, too.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I can hear the Aussie accents here. Very real.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, I love the characterization and chemistry going on. You did a great job at showing the mystery guy to be a little cocky by adding that he removed the reserve sign. Nice job.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Ju Dimello: Glad you liked it although worried about the POV comment. It's hard to get things sorted in an extract, but I was hoping POV was clear.

    Jessica: Thanks for following. Great to meet up with fellow Aussies in blogland.

    Mary Anne: Love that you got the AbFab although I really didn't start out with that in mind. Goes to show it's hard to stop a certain 'voice' coming throught.

    Aubrie: Yes that line came to me in my umpteenth revision and now I know it's a strong hook. Thanks for following, as I am you.

    Tara: Glad the readings are still going on. So many to get through! Yes, as per my comment above, mystery guy is one cheeky, yet lovely guy. Thanks...:)

    ReplyDelete
  19. Looks like you have some sassy characters there!
    data entry india

    ReplyDelete

I love hearing from you! Hit me with your wisdom!