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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

So here we are again at the second part of Cassie Mae and Angela Cothran's I'm Hearing Voices Character Blogfest.  Today's challenge is all about the dialogue; two characters introduce each other in 250 words or less.  No introspection, no backstory, just dialogue.

I took this challenge a step further and didn't add any dialogue or action tags either.  I'm not sure this would be practical for a sequence this long in the actual novel, but this is a "voices" blogfest (and this scene never happened in the novel), so lets see if you can identify the characters by the context and the voice.  I also didn't do a literal "introduction" type excerpt.  I wasn't entirely sure how this segment should post, but I never like to take the obvious road.  DO feel free to let me know if I satisfied the spirit of the challenge: two characters introduce each other to the reader.

If you read Monday's post - Characters on the couch - you'll recognize that I'm continuing to use two (of the three) main characters from my women's fiction novel Not Her Mothers Fate.
* * *

“Hey Amy.”
“Robert.  What are you doing here?”

“Uhm, well, I wanted to ask you out.  On a date.”

“And you thought to bring along a beer to bolster your courage?”


“You were so bold as to kiss me at my birthday party, and now you’re nervous?”
“I was a little – oh alright, a lot – drunk that night. “

“And you’ll do anything on a dare, right?  Honestly, quit looking so sheepish.  Go ahead, take another swig, and tell me why I should go out with you.”

“Besides the curly red hair, and that all our mutual friends want us to hook up?”

“That in itself is reason for me not to date you Robert.   Wipe the dribbles off your chin.  Thank you.  Now, don’t you think your devout Seventh Day Adventist parents would disapprove of you dating a girl like me?”

“That’s unfair Amy.  Just cuz you don’t go to our church and you live with two partying roommates doesn’t mean they won’t warm up to you.  You’re independent and practical, like my mom.  She’ll like that you don’t draw attention to yourself with makeup or sleazy clothes.”

“So you’re looking for a mommy replacement?  Thanks Robert, but I doubt I’m the girl for you.  You need someone to save you from your own demons.  I don’t need a guy who can’t control his own urges.  When you grow up and can talk to me without a can of beer, perhaps we’ll talk again.”
* * *
Does it work?  Do you feel you know the essentials about these two characters?  That they have properly introduced each other?  Seriously; I like honest feedback :)
Visit Cassie's original blogfest post here for the linky to other participants and prize details.


Clarissa Draper said...

It's amazing how much you can learn about characters even just through dialogue. Thanks for sharing.

Danielle B. said...

It does work! I know them very well now. Thanks for letting us meet them!

Justine Dell said...

Yeah, I know the essentials. And you've done a wonderful job introducing them! Great job, Donna!


Pat Hatt said...

Very well done, you can learn tons through dialogue and you surely did that.

Cassie Mae said...

Oh my gosh! I love love love this! I can totally see his awkwardness and it's so hard for some guys to ask a girl out and she's just giving him the run around. I think you displayed these two characters wonderfully!

Great job!!!

Kyra Lennon said...

Ha, Robert is so not a natural at hitting on girls!

I love the way Amy responds to his every word with a smart answer - I think she sounds great!

Michael Offutt, Tebow Cult Initiate said...

The dialogue is good but I miss the dialogue tags. This just seems like talking heads to me which is my biggest complaint with today's challenge. I couldn't do it. I'm really not sure I understand the point of today's exercise. But it was fun.

Jess said...

I think you did a great job! It totally works!
Great entry :)

Clare said...

Go Amy!! I like her a lot, and I love how she stood up to Robert.

N. R. Williams said...

This definitely works. Snappy and tight, great job.

Emily R. King said...

I wouldn't want to date Robert either. Eww!

kmckendry said...

Eww I'm glad she stood up to him. Who cares what all their "friends" say!

Sherri said...

Robert seems to not even know what he wants. He seems to rely on others to tell him what to do. He needs alcohol to bolster his resolve. Amy is wise to see these tendencies in him and stay away, while giving him advice on how to change. Interesting dialogue!

Ashley Nixon said...

I like Amy! Way to go, I'd have kicked Robert!

Angela Cothran said...

LOL! Amy is one smart cookie! See can see right through him can't she :) Great job Donna, this was fab!

Angela M. said...

I can't believe how much you can convey in only 250 words! Ditto what Sherri said. Plus I get that she's not like her roommates, but often gets lumped in with them. I get what kind of upbringing he must have had and what his parents are like. We even get a little bit of a visual image of them from this. Well done!

Donna Hole said...

Yes it is Clarissa.

Thanks for the feedback Danielle.

Justine: cool, thanks.

Glad you approve Patt.

Cassie; Amy has a better voice in this blogfest that she does in the novel. This is giving me great editing tips :)

Yep Kyra; Robert is socially inept.

I with you Mike O; it was hard not to put in the tags and some narrative.

Thanks Jess :)

Clare; Amy has her moments.

Thanks Nancy :)

Emily and KM; lol, that's a good response to Robert :)

Thanks Sherri; that fits Robert's character to a tee.

Angie: she did at first :)

Angela; thanks. I worked hard on the "visual". Difficult to do without the tags and descriptions.


The Capillary said...

That was a great exchange and the characters were really unique.

Kelley said...

It does work! And Amy sounds SO much like me. I would treat him exactly like that :)

*New follower* SO nice to *meet* you!

Trisha said...

Amy is one smart whip. haha. I kind of felt sorry for Robert. It's cute that he had a beer with him ;)

Madeleine Maddocks said...

Amy sounds like a fiery redhead and it sounds like she and Robert are destined to become very important in one another's lives. I could feel lots of underlying backstory that makes their dialogue compelling. They both have issues, vulnerabilities and I figure they'll be able to help one another through them.

DL Hammons said...

Yes...it works perfectly! :)

DEZMOND said...

so it's not only me who is hearing voices? :)

Justin W. Parente said...

Favorite line: "Take another swig, stop being sheepish, and tell me why I should go out with you." Very bold. I enjoyed it. Thanks for sharing.


Sara said...

Aww...I feel bad for Robert. But I totally identify with Amy. Great job!

Carol Riggs said...

Very interesting! I certainly learned a lot about the characters. What a fun blogfest idea! :) Have a great weekend, Donna.

The Golden Eagle said...

A lot of participants seem to have decided to skip dialogue tags. I think it's quite effective in showing the different voices.

Amy sounds like a strong character!

Eric W. Trant said...

Hard to do. I wrote an entire intro in dialogue, and was told it was too vague.

One thing I found, though, is to skip the physical characteristics. People don't mention it in real dialogue, unless it is part of the conversation. e.g. Women discussing hair, two guys discussing a workout, people discussing their different heritages, and so forth.

As for tags, NO NEED! You did wonderful without them. They weren't missed at all.

- Eric

Nicole Zoltack said...

I loved Amy! Way to tell him like it is. lol