Thursday, December 16, 2010

12 lines of good dialogue

'Tis the season to engage in good dialogue. So, in that spirit, I’d like you to share 12 lines of great dialogue from your work. The 12 lines do not have to be from the same piece of writing. Identify the work(s) from which the lines are taken. This should be FUN! Here are mine.
Snippets from FREAKY FRANK (MG)
(1 and 2) You’re one strange dude,” Piz said. “That thing you do happens a lot?”
(3)“What thing?”
(4) “That thing where you know what I’m thinking before I even say it and then you say it and then when I say it, it sounds like I’m only saying it because you said it.”
(5) “Do you know how stupid that sounds?”
(6, 7, 8) “Oh, Nate. Didn’t know that was you. Sounded like a girl.”
(9) “Are you saying I sound like a girl, you punk?”
(10) “Yeah. A little itsy-bitsy, teeny-tiny frilly lace girl.”
(11 and 12) “Why you Nerd Turd you. I’ll get you good.”


  1. From my middle-grade wip, about a foster kid trying to hide her pet dog:

    1) “May I take a shower?” I asked, already knowing the answer.
    2) “Didn’t you take one two days ago?” Almira said.
    3) “Yes, but the mustard—“
    4) “That’s yer own fault! Yer fault, not mine!” She slammed shut the trashcan lid. “Wash it off; you can shower tomorrow before school.”
    5)“That’s really generous of you, Aunt Almira,” I said politely. Her moon face scrunched inward as she tried to figure out if I was sincere. She mistakenly decided I was.

    6)“Something tells me Almira’s not a dog person.” Puck tilted his head as though shocked at the possibility. “I don’t think you’d get shipped off to the pound, either. We’d just have a different flavor mystery meat frying away tomorrow,” I told him. “Well, you wouldn’t, of course.”

    7)“What?” I snapped at him.
    8)He stared at my bright red shoes for a second. “Really trying to fit in, aren’t you?”
    9)“She’s a jerk,” I said. “Why would I want to fit in with her?”
    10) Zeke sighed and sat down uninvited next to me on the bench. He leaned into me and sniffed. “Just like I thought. You don’t stink.”
    11)“Shocking, isn’t it?”
    12) “Sort of. I mean, you don’t smell great, like cake or anything, but you don’t stink like you did on the bus this morning. You act so mean all the time it wouldn’t have surprised me. But it’s not you that stinks. It’s that dog, right?”

  2. This is from my novel, Grimoire. I came across these lines while revising tonight:

    “Do you have proof?”
    “I overheard one of the twins say so.”
    “So, your word against hers.”
    “You were there, too.”
    “I was,” he agreed, “But I have learned it is often better to take care of such matters privately.”
    “Then you won’t speak on my behalf?”
    “Miss Howard, there are better ways to stop Grace. Trust me.”
    Arlen was quiet then, something in his tone making her pause and think. “You have a plan,” she said at last.
    Adrian didn’t say anything.
    “Truth for truth,” Arlen reminded him in a whisper.
    “Very well,” he said, not looking at her, “I have the beginnings of a plan.”
    “And the rest will have to wait for another time. Gwydian is about to read Lettie’s will.”