Friday, March 6, 2009

Hit Me With Your Best Shot

Okay, so this week is obviously music week, cuz that title is a song too. Le sigh. Can't win 'em all. Or maybe I am winning...

Anyway, today I'm asking for your best dialog. I'm planning a post on the QueryTracker blog about writing dialog and I didn't want to toot my own horn. Well, at least not quite so loud. I'm going to be using some examples from my own writing in the post, but I'd like to have some others.

So here's what I'm asking you to do.
1. Email me your best dialog. The most powerful line someone speaks in your book. The wittiest. The awesomest. Email: elanajohnson (at) gmail (dot) com. Oh, and put "dialog" in the subject line.
2. I may use it, I may not.
3. You can include a little blurb (if you want) that sets up the dialog. I don't need a one-page synop—or even a 250 word query letter. Just give me the context. (Example below.)
4. I'll credit you as the author and provide a link to your blog on the QT blog post. I'll also be analyzing why I think the dialog works so well, so if that bothers you, please don't submit. The readers of the blog will NOT be asked to critique your dialog - only I'm doing that. I'm nice. Promise.
5. The dialog excerpt shouldn't exceed 100 words. I want your very best! Your short very best.

Okay, here's an example from one of my own WiP's. I don't want to say I'm the queen of dialog, although I am feeling quite Bee-ish lately.

This is a scene between Vi (Violet) and Zenn. They're walking in the park after dark—gasp!—and a hovercopter has shown up demanding to know why they've decided to become Rule-breakers. It's from a dystopian sci fi novel, just so you know. Oh and it's her birthday in a couple of week and Zenn's already said he has something for her. (blurb: 61 words)

Zenn turned toward me. "What have you done now?"
"Nothing," I answered. "I've done nothing this time." I'd been good for two months. It was the end of the term, the weather was finally getting better, and I didn't see any reason to cause problems.
"This time?" he asked. "What about last time?"
"Violet Schoenfeld, stay where you are!" a mechanical voice boomed. "The Green demands a hearing."
"Vi! The Green? What have you done?"
"Can I have my present now?" I asked.
(dialog: 79 words)

I am not going to analyze my own dialog here. You'll have to wait for the blog post on the QT blog. Neener, neener. However, if you'd like to rip me apart, that's fine. What does this dialog show? Do you get a sense of the characters? No? What do you get? Anything? Let me know. It's entirely possible this stinks of dead fish, but I kinda like it.

Remember, I don't want your dialog submission in a comment. Save the comments for your pithiness on my dialog. sengihnampakgigi Or that picture of Adam Lambert...

Man, getting shredded has never felt so good. Bring it on!


Michelle D. Argyle said...

I plan on doing this! Cool! Later today I'll try to get it to you. Just gotta figure out what will work. :)

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I also like your dialogue bit. Shows a spunkiness to the character that is quite fun. I was a little confused when the voice boomed in. Wasn't sure what was going on. Then I read the blurb beforehand and that cleared it up. I'm just dumb and didn't read that first. :)

The last line is great! Kind of want to see the look on her face, though, or the tone of her voice.

Michelle D. Argyle said...

I have sent it in through email. Let me know if you got it!

Jennifer said...

I just sent mine in. :)

Anonymous said...

SO love the dialogue box on Adam...LOL....LOL....I am laughing so hard I'm crying :)

Jenn Adams said...

Wow, I just can't think what my best dialogue bit is! Seriously, my stuff is just so made of awesome, I don't know where to begin! LOLOLOL!

The truth is, I just have a horrible, terrible, no good, very bad memory! I'll scan my stuff just for you and see if I can come up with a tidbit.

Jenn Adams said...

EGGINER [e-guh-neer] –noun
1. a person trained and skilled in the design, construction, and use of chicken coops, or in any of various branches of the raising of chickens.
2. a person who is in charge of collecting eggs.
4. a member of an army, navy, or air force specially trained in recovering eggs from underneath mother hens.
5. a skillful dairy farmer.

You are soooo gonna wish you never got me on this Word Verification kick! (If you don't already!!)

Anonymous said...

Is an 'all dialog' story permitted?

Elana Johnson said...

Donna, all dialog is permitted. It's "Hit Me With Your Best Shot!" I totally want to see yours...hint, hint.

Anonymous said...

Unless I write something new, I'm out of this one. I just did a word count on mine and it's 400. lol

I'm so darn wordy.

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