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Friday, June 1, 2012

Dialogue Crit #3

Critting dialogue, paying minimal attention to the tags and surrounding action. Yellow highlighter points out repetition.

Title: Not Her Mother's Fate
Genre: Women's fiction

“You like Robert?”

“Usually,” Amy answered, feeling it an odd question. “Do you?”

He nodded, his lips curving in a tight smile.  “I have a special interest in Robert Crane Pronoun. People rarely use names -- I often get stuck IRL hoping someone's name will be mentioned because I've forgotten it. And it never gets said. And I pay close attention to that which sparks my interest.”

Daryl looked her up and down again, but not the sexual dressing down he’d given her earlier.  She turned her face away as his long, smooth finger gently caressed her jaw.

“Exquisite,” he whispered appreciatively.  “Who do you work for?”


He laughed.  It was a beautiful sound, a man used to being entertained.

“There you are, Amy.  I’ve been looking all over for you.”

Daryl looked towards Robert’s voice, lifted a hand, and the burly guard stepped out of the way.  Robert hurried towards her with two melting drinks in his hand.

“Thanks,” Daryl said as he snagged a glass.

Robert looked angry as he glanced at Amy.  She blushed at the accusation in his eyes, knowing he had to have witnessed the slow, tantalizing caress.  When she looked up at Daryl, his gray eyes were alive with teasing mischief.
“Truce,” Daryl chuckled as he held up his stolen glass.

“For Cal,” Robert agreed, and they drained the drinks together.  “You buying into this?”

Daryl grinned, handed the empty cup back to Robert.  “I like her.  You should introduce her to my wife.”

“Fat chance,” Robert replied instantly.  “You keep my brother The above being said, this is one place I'd use a name. Unless he doesn't want Amy to know his brother's name. away often enough, you can’t have her too." Bad grammar, but it could work.

The sensuous laugh again from Daryl.  “Well, can’t win them all.”

An awkward silence followed as each man assessed the other.  Surprisingly, Daryl was the first to break the tense silence as he clasped Robert’s shoulder.

“God I miss Cal,” Daryl admitted hoarsely, swiping at a tear in the corner of his eye.  “You’re his favorite, you know.”

“I don’t. You had his heart long before me. You’re family, blood.Elephant in the room -- they both know this, therefore they have no reason to mention it.

“Fuck you,” the big man demurred.  “Stuck with me, but he picked you.” Daryl could throw some proof in Robert's face instead. What's he trying to get from Robert here? Embarrassment? Admission of some kind of guilt?

Robert apparently had no come back for that one.

With a survivor’s instinct for hidden motives, Amy realized this moment was why Robert attended the party.

“Watch yourself out there,” How is this relevant to Robert being the favorite? What prompted the change of subject? Robert said in a low voice. There was genuine concern in his tone as he glanced towards the party.  “Some of them think you’re vulnerable right now.” Vague. Either be more specific or leave it out.

“Like I need your advise advice,” The above was too vague to be called advice, I think. Good place for a "Fuck you" though. Daryl said sarcastically.  “I’m not helpless without Cal.”  Robert pulled back with a snarl, but Daryl grabbed his shirt in one hand and wrapped an arm around Robert’s shoulder.  “Some of ‘them’ think I’m gunning to hurt you over Cal’s arrest.” Elephant in the room -- you could use this as a hook, if the reader doesn't know about the arrest, and if they do then you don't need it.

“I heard that rumor.” This is vague, which I'm reading as Robert getting nervous. Was that what you wanted?

“They’re wrong,” Daryl said sharply.  Robert nodded, looking past Daryl, down the hall to the bedrooms.  All drunkenness vanished from Daryl as he shook Robert.  “You know something?”

“Who Brad talks to is none of my business, right?  I’m sure you’ve done your own check on his new enforcer.”

The conversation seems to veer from subject to subject, but that could be because it's only a snippet of a scene. And it's a bit... odd that Robert says he's been looking for Amy and then proceeds to ignore her. They both do, actually. There could be many reasons for that, but if she's important to them her presence should have an impact on the conversation. Either because they want to include her or they're deliberately trying to exclude her, control what she hears, etc. 

1 comment:

Donna Hole said...

Thanks for the crit L. As a stand-alone scene, it does leave a lot of vague references. It is possible that the preceeding scenes were not clear enough either.

I appreciate the time you took to offer feedback.