Dialogue Tests

Okay so these are both pieces of one-shot dialogue I’ve had bouncing around in my head today that I just needed to get out, whether they get used or not.


 

The first piece, between Mari and Nick is from my current WIP which is about 10k words at the moment. No other details needed because spoilers.


 

‘You keep eating that sort of crap,’ she told him pointedly, ‘and you’re going to end up with bloody scurvy or something.’

He scoffed at her, eyes doing exaggerated cartwheels, ‘Mari, I’m not going to get scurvy.’ He paused, ‘we’re not even anywhere near the sea.’

She stared at him, mouth open but unable to actually form an adequate response, as Nick cheerily took another bite of turkey dinosaur, which was considerably blackened at the edges.

‘Nick, what exactly do you think scurvy is?’

‘I dunno,’ he chewed, ‘Pirates got it right? It’s like a disease you get from a fish bite? Like a poisonous one?’

He shrugged and continued to chew with mouth slightly open, the wet noise pin-wheeling Mari between equal parts disgust and disbelief.

‘He’ll be dead of malnutrition in a month…’ She muttered to herself.

‘Huh?’ Crumbs of burnt breadcrumbs tumbled out of Nick’s slack mouth, but Mari had already stalked decisively out of the room.


 

This second piece is for a couple of unnamed characters that are forming in my head with no story in mind, but I really like them and how they work together.


 

The wiry little terrier ahead of us cocked a leg at every single tree at the side of the road, as his owner – an impatient, elderly looking woman in a plastic headscarf, pulled at the lead with lacklustre strength.

‘What is it about dogs and peeing on literally everything?’ He mused aloud. It struck me as the sort of question a toddler would ask. Not that I knew any toddlers. Did toddlers say pee?

‘I guess,’ I pondered it for a second, chewing on my bottom lip thoughtfully, ‘it’s like a dogs checking in? Like on Facebook. Pissing on a lamp-post is like saying “Fido checked in at South View Lamp post!”‘

He laughed heartily, and I felt my mouth tug into a half smile. I didn’t do full smiles often, but I knew that it was bright and gleaming. My half smile, I’d been told, was like a dangerous shot from a pistol that could stop a boy’s heart at twenty paces. I liked to exercise that theory from time to time, but he didn’t look at me, his nervous eyes avoiding my face and focusing on my unruly fuzzy black hair.

‘So it’s like the dog equivalent of social media, but stinkier?’ He chuckled as we walked along aimlessly. Walking without a goal seemed like a safe way to have a conversation. It was easier for him to work against his anxiety by looking forward instead of at me, even though it meant I felt like I was staring at him a lot.

‘Exactly,’ I nodded, my hair bouncing, ‘And then it’ll be like “Clifford likes this” and then all the dogs know who’s been where.’

‘And Clifford leaves a comment all “Man, I LOVE that lamp post! I peed on it last week!” You think?’ He offered.

‘Absolutely. Everything on Dog social media would be super upbeat and positive. There’d be no passive aggressive sniping or any of that. Everyone would be chipper and happy all the time.’

He met my eye for just a second before darting away again, ‘That would actually be amazing. I might use it more often if it was that wholesome.’

‘Amen to that,’ I answered, before we fell into a comfortable silence, his battered trainers a soft pad to my massive boots stomp, a comfortably contrasting rhythm against the rain soaked concrete.


 

Thanks for reading those, if you did. Dialogue is my least confident area of my writing, so any feedback would be amazing. Compliments would be a real boost too!

D

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