FlashFlood

writing about writing

Dialogue Work

Posted by Flood on April 27, 2006

I didn't use a prompt today. Instead I worked on dialogue, because I find most of my work in that area to be false. Keep in mind this is just a kind of free-flow writing, and I am not worried about grammar or plot or anything, I'm just practicing giving characters voice.

"Hi, I'm Amy," The girl said as Mel opened the door."I was wondering if I could use your phone? Mine got cut off." Mel detected no shame in this admission.

"Sure, come in. Local call, right?"

"I have to call a cab," Amy answered, "I got my check today and I need groceries." Mel pointed Amy to the phone on the wall just outside of the kitchen.

"Thanks," Amy said softly and walked to the phone and dialled.

Mel went down the hall of her apartment to give Amy some privacy and stood outside of her son's bedroom. She listened to see if Amy's knock had disturbed him, but she heard nothing.

"Okay," called Amy, "all done, thanks."

Mel went back to the living room and found Amy near the door. Her eyes wandered around the apartment.

"Looks good in here. You decorated nicely."

"Thanks," smiled Mel.

"I see you around with your little boy outside sometimes."

"Yeah, I see you too, with yours, he's cute." Mel's nose thought it smelled stale marijuana smoke.

"I think they are about the same age? Anyway, yeah I have to do groceries with him today. And the blizzard is gonna make it take forever, " she sighed. She placed her right hand on the door knob and let her small frame balance on her left foot. She explained that she couldn't afford the cab, but she really needed to do it. Mel was overcome with compassion suddenly, for what her intuition told her was a single mom who used sheets as curtains in the apartment below hers.

"I could watch your boy for you," Mel offered. "Would make the trip a bit easier."

"Really? Great!" Amy spoke responded too quickly. Mel had thought she would have to convince Amy that she was not a child predator or something.

"I'll go get him, he's downstairs. Thanks a lot. I won't be gone long." She slammed the door behind her and Mel heard her heels pound down the hall. Mel looked to the ceiling and wondered why it was so easy to get the boy. She would have appreciated the offer, herself, but politely turned it down. Tommy would scream his head off if she left him with a stranger, and she would be worried the ehwole time she was away.

She went to the window and saw that the blizzard had picked up. She would have put the shopping off for a day, but maybe Amy was in dire need of food. Mel had to use the foodbank twice in her life and knew all about panicking.

She went to the kitchen, put the kettle on for tea, and heard Tommy moving around in his room. She found him in there trying to put on his slippers. She heard a knock on the door as she helped him and called out for Amy to come in.

"Hello? It's me and Kyle?"

"I'll be right there, I just have to change the baby."

"Well the cab's waiting so I am gonna go. Diapers and formula in the bag."

"One sec, Amy, hang on." She heard the door slam. Picking up a half her half naked boy, she charged into the living room. Kyle sat in a snow suit on the couch. He looked at her and then Tommy and screamed 'car-car!'

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One Response to “Dialogue Work”

  1. Lyn said

    Wow, if you can focus on voice and characterization and still come up with this compelling story line, you are going to be huge! And here I let you read my CYOA fluff! lol 🙂 I really don’t have any critique – your subtle narrative undergirds the dialog nicely – you’re not “telling” I’m “listening.” Good job. lgp

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