Tuesday, April 10, 2007

The Next Line 25

"Okay, pizza it is.” Annie picked up the cordless and dialed her favorite pizzeria. She ordered a Greek salad and a medium pizza with pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives. “Do you still want a scotch?”

“Just one.”

Annie fixed Marne’s drink, making it mostly ice. “You told me that you told him that you loved him. Change your mind?”

“Not yet, but I’m thinking about it.” Marne burped out loud. “He says he loves me. Does he love me?”

“I’m sure he does, Marne, but he probably can’t express it right. He’s a man. Men always say things the wrong way. He probably just says ‘I love you’ or some other dumb thing. Maybe he sees your refusal to marry him as proof you don’t love him. The man’s got a big ego. You’re hurting his feelings every day.”

“I am? Tough shit.”

“You don’t mean that. You’re upset and half in the bag. Why don’t you pet my therapy dog. It’ll calm you down. Here Beef.”

The fat spaniel got up and sat by the table, waiting for a treat. Marne reached down and scratched behind his ear. “This is a nice dog. I wish I had a dog.”

“There’s lots of room for one to run, up at the lake.”

“I have to pee.” Marne stood a little unsteadily and made her way to the bathroom. Beef followed her and sat outside the door until she was finished. Marne opened the refrigerator. “I should probably eat something.”

“The pizza should be here soon.”

“You ordered pizza?”

"Yes. Pepperoni, mushrooms and black olives."

"I prefer ground beef."

The dog went yelping into the back room.

"Don't mind him," Annie said. "He's been a little nervous ever since what happened last time you were here--when you decided your hoagie didn't have enough roast beef."

Dialogue: Inkmandoo.....The Next Line: EE


Dave said...

“You told me that you told him that you loved him. Change your mind?”
perhaps the better dialog is:
"Did you tell him you love him?"

Also, try to take out the "Why don’t you pet my therapy dog" because it doesn't ring true to me as dialog. It seems like a reason to introduce a dog with a funny name. IMHO

I have the impression that "I have to pee" really means "I don;t want to talk about it anymore, go away, get lost!" If that's so, I'd let her reluctance bleed into the entire conversation.

sylvia said...

You appear to be trying to explain a lot in the conversation that the two people talking would already know.

For example,

“You told me that you told him that you loved him. Change your mind?”

I don't think people say "You told me..." unless there's an argument. "So, you told him that you loved him" is all that's needed. The friend clearly knows the dog, why's it being introduced? At the moment the dialogue feels a bit stilted because you are using it to try to give the readers detail directly. Let it show between the lines.

pacatrue said...

Hi, Ink. I'm sorry, but for me, this dialogue really seemed to wander from place to place without clear connections. I assume they are drunk or at least tipsy and therefore it's on purpose, but the feeling remains. Perhaps in context, the wandering feeling of the dialogue would work, but if the context is very strong, then you have the "as you know" issue that Sylvia mentioned.

What I mean by wandering is that each sentence does connect up with the next one, but the larger bits don't really seem to hang together coherently.

Robin S. said...

Hi Ink (that's what pacatrue called you, so I'm going with it, hope you don't mind),

I liked a lot of your dialogue, and the description that accompanies it. I like, for instance, "Annie fixed Marne’s drink, making it mostly ice" to show that Marne is a little wasted, and that Annie is being a friend to her, without being overt about it. Says a lot about a person.

This may meander a bit, but it's a good snapshot of the friend's relationship, for me.

The part about the dog might need a little revision, although I kind of like Beef being referred to as a therapy dog. We have a therapy cat, (although we have to be careful not to let him know this, or he'd stalk away, haughty as hell), so I know what you mean.

I think I'd just want to know what was going on before and after this bit to see what it added to the story.

McKoala said...

I have a beef with Beef. Really not liking that name for a dog. OK, so that's probably just me.

It's clear to me that Marne is drunk, good job. But I also tripped up on the 'as you know Bob' - the line about loving, the dog and then telling Marne about the lake. She'd know all that, drunk or not.

Inkmandoo said...

Good advice all. Thank you.

Alcohol can cause wandering dialog. I know from experience.