Monday, November 29, 2010

An Excerpt...

Over the past few weeks, I've explored QueriesOpening Chapters, and PlatformsMonday, I gave you a more personal feature of how I axed a character. (For those of you who missed it, it's whacked not wacked as I so brilliantly typed out. THANK YOU, Matt!!)

Celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday along with my daughter's b-day last week got me thinking about all I'm thankful for. On Friday, I wrote up a little snare about the teeny grips I have while I'm blogging/writing.

Today, I decided to embrace the positive and share a brief excerpt from MARKED BEAUTY with you, because I truly am grateful to be writing. But also because my BBB Leigh decided to join me. She's also posting an excerpt, concentrating on POV. Head over to That's Write and check it out.

Now, for my sneak peek:

While you read, note the dialog, how the two main characters feed off each other.

This is part of the 2nd scene I ever wrote for MB. Here's the setup: 

Ana is working at the library. When she goes to leave, she finds that her motorcycle won't start. Viktor--the guy she is suspicious of and she recently had a spat with during a history class debate--shows up and offers her a ride.

The low rumble of an engine surfaced above the glossy atmosphere. The lightning blue Charger turned into the parking lot. The whirl of his window lowering startled me.

“You look like a wet dog.” 

“Why, Mr. Butler, you do know just what to say to a girl,” spoken in my best Scarlett O’Hara flare.

“I meant you’re dripping. Do you need a ride?” Droplets the size of quarters fell between us, my lips and nose a launching pad like paratroopers diving from an airplane. “Is there something wrong with your bike?”

Mashing my forehead into a mangled highway of lines, I bobbed my head up and down.

“Do you need help?” he asked me, but why should I answer him? I didn’t owe him Jack. “I’ll give you a ride,” Viktor said.

“And leave my bike here?”

“I’ll get it later. You’re going to get sick. Now get in the car.” 

“My dad said no strangers.”

“I’m not a stranger. You know me.”

“Are you sure?”

“Anastasia….” His voice was still, and he mumbled something about me being stubborn. “Are you going to make me get out of the car and get wet, too?” 

My obstinacy outweighed rational thinking. Through my water-logged lashes, I watched him fold his arms on the roof of his car, drum his fingers, and get dowsed by the storm. Rainwater beaded his raven strands, clinging until the last possible moment and then dripping to the ground. Chomping on the inside of my cheeks barely kept me from laughing.

He stood firm, his blue eyes coating me in his gaze. I couldn’t deny his appeal—steamy and even erotic in this setting. He was male model in-a-magazine-perfect I’d secretly want to hang on my wall but would never admit out loud. At this point, he was still the orange cone in the parking lot to avoid.

“Will you get in the car, now?” Viktor asked.

“I’m going to get your leather wet.”

“So am I.”

“Are you sure you want to be seen with me?”

“What is that supposed to mean?” he blared.

“You know, disposable soldier and all?” 

The drumming of his fingers on the roof halted. “I’m not leaving you here. Please get in the car.”

 After lingering a moment, I conceded and shimmied with a squeak into the dark seat. My jeans were drenched, and stuck to the leather. My teeth trembled.

As Viktor arched his spine and reached in the backseat, the leather of his jacket fell from his chest, showing it firm and lean. It contracted gloriously and stretched each seam of his six-pack abs. The tendons in his neck tightened. I grinned at the familiar scent of mint and mocha and then tensed as he lowered back into his seat. The shock of being so close to him caressed my face tender and slightly embarrassed. As nervous energy exhaled from my mouth, Viktor’s thick lips parted and he inhaled. I turned away. The softness from the night of the bonfire came back to me; it was that blanket. 

“Keep it this time. I mean it, and buckle up.” He handed me the blanket, his voice cashmere. “The heated seat is on.” 

As you can probably tell, my girl Ana is not all that trusting of Viktor...not yet. As a matter of fact, right after this, she causes him more trouble. BUT that will be for another day. Thanks for reading.

So tell me, what elements did you notice stringing these two characters into a web? How do you write electric dialog between characters?


  1. Wow! You're a GREAT writer! I've never read anything of yours before, I don't think. I love the tension you create between these too. It's really steamy with that kind of uncomfortable silence, without the silence, if you know what I mean. Nice work, hon! :o)

  2. Wow, this is great. I hope I get to see this on the bookshelf one day. Love the voice!

  3. reow. Very sexy. And super drenched. I could totally see all the rain and ... :D OK. I'm going to stop. But the description is very well done!

    One tiny note--KMW has pointed out before that direct address can be overused (characters' names in dialog). So just a thought. It's possible her name is repeated like that for a reason, since it's paranormal... Otherwise, great stuff~ :o) <3

  4. I really like the scene between the two of them, there is great tension. The only thing that concerns me a little is that I think it might get a tiny bit over-descriptive at times and slow the plot a little.

    For instance, in the next to last paragraph, I found myself confused by how she experienced the smell of ginger & spice. Then there was his vanilla neck, and then the familiar scent of mint & mocha. All GREAT descriptors, but they were so close together I got a little lost with what exactly was being described in those three sentences.

    But again, you've done a great job with the tension between the two!! Bravo.

  5. Great tension here. I try to write my dialogue with that in mind, and make sure I weed out any unnecessary strings of conversation that don't forward the scene.
    Great job!

  6. Wow! I loved it. The banter, the back and forth, the tension was so well-defined.

    One very, very minor thing: Scarlett is spelled with two 't's. Loved that line about Rhett!

  7. @LTM - thanks for making that observation. Already taken care of. lol

    @Tracy - nice call. Thank you.

    @Nicole - OM, I knew that. Thanks for the fresh eyes.

  8. I love the tension between them! Thank you for this great sneak peek! It made me want to read more.

  9. Some great lines here (though I agree that it may be a tad overdescriptive in parts, some of which slows the dialogue pacing). My faves:
    --the orange cone in the parking lot to avoid
    --the wet dog comment
    --the glossy atmosphere
    --his voice cashmere

    You definitely have some snappy dialogue here, playing off the tension between the 2 characters. Great job! (I agree; I can see and feel that rain.)

  10. Love it! I agree with Tracy about the variety of smells being a bit difficult to follow, and Carol nailed my favorites!! :-)

  11. Great. You definitely show conflict between the characters which makes me want to know why and also what will happen next. Like someone else has said, maybe a little less description. I'm waiting for the next installment. :)

  12. Very nice! Thanks so much for posting this...
    You look like a wet dog! great line!

  13. Sounds like there's some real heat between these two! I hope we get to read more. :)

  14. Nice work, Sher! You have a flair for vivid details... love the orange cone metaphor!
    I feel the tension--both negative and positive. And I agree with maybe just a little less description to keep your awesome dialogue flowing and extra tense. Also, you may be able to trim Viktor's dialogue by just a few words here and there to make it really tight.
    THose are just suggestions. Love the idea of a librarian that rides motorcylces!! I wrote a story last year that invloved the same. ;)

  15. This was kick-A**! Your imagery is great to. Especially liked this line: "Mashing my forehead into a mangled highway of lines"!!!

  16. I agree with Pk Hrezo: love the orange cone metaphor. Girl, you can WRITE!

    Please, might we have some more?

  17. "You look like a wet dog." I love that! LOL


!SPLAT Your Awesomeness! I'd love to hear from you!


Related Posts with Thumbnails