Friday, March 1, 2013

      Since I am in the final stages of the old French farmhouse renovation, I have time to work on dialog while working. I am plastering right now so I create small bits of dialog, while troweling. Then when I take a break I go to my laptop and write them down, and trim them to 100 words, like a flash fiction contest. It's kind of like mental gymnastics. 

     Below are four recent examples, just for a laugh. I have to consider these exercises as work, if I am to improve my untutored writing.

Sample One:

“Patrolman Vincenzo, callbox k-12……
“Hey Penny it’s Vinnie…. send a meatwagon to Madam Changs, found Sully,,,Detective Sullivan.”
“Nah, lead poisoning, both barrels. A guy working second floor at the nookie factory chased me down.”
“No eyewitnesses. “
“Yeah, probably…..I said to him…”Sully what you said was wrong, askin the ma if she wanted him well done or charred.”
“Yeah, write it up. I’ll be back in an hour.”
He heard the old rusty Dodge sedan parked in the alley start up and drive towards him slowly.
The old lady in the back wearing black, was it Sacco’s or Vanzetti’s ma?”

Ferdinando Nicola Sacco (April 22, 1891 – August 23, 1927) and Bartolomeo Vanzetti (June 11, 1888 – August 23, 1927

Sample Two:

“Tommy, whatta we got?”
“Body on the bank, lead poisoning. Our boys on the launch; fishing with a hook line.”
“Whats Lulu doin here Tommy?”
“Witness, waitin for you.”
“Tommy I know your old man took off and yer ma died that winter, and Lulu raised you and your kid sister, but she’s hard now. You know how she made her money.”
“Nah, she’s got a good heart.”
“Tommy look at her with your eyes, not your heart, she’s filing her nails while they’re draggin the lake. Gimme your piece and your plant gun….”
Blam! Blam
Blam! Blam!
“Sorry Tommy”.

Excerpt from Watching The Detectives. Elvis Costello

Sample Three:

“Did I tell you my son wants to be a writer?, why he’s got a way with words.”
            “No, he’s got away with crime…all his life.”
            “Oh, he’s sharp.”
            “He comes from grifters; all you write is bad checks. He ain’t the next Frank Hemingway.”
            “If a man’s Ernest, he’s gotta be frank. Anyway how’s he gonna write “A clean well-lighted place” in a dark dank six by six cold concrete cell? By the time he’s out of the penitentiary, he’ll be an old man; maybe he could go fishin and write about that. Like that Frank did.”

Sample Four:

            “Hey Albert, you heard Doreen took off with my brother, Charlie.”
            “Yep, she always was practical.”
            “How do you mean.”
            “Well, she’ll still use your grandma’s ring, and the weddin plates, same last initial.”
            “Guess I never thought of that.”
            “Well, brighten up, she got the itchy mattress sickness.”
            “How’s that supposed to help me.”
            “Well, the only other guy in town with the same first initial in his last name is Lonnie, the bag boy over ta Stop and Shop.”
            “What about it?”
            “Whats your son’s name?”
            “Lonnie; after my grandpa.”
            “Think about it.”
“She always was practical.”

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