This Saturday, we have a dialogue excerpt from the middle of a novel by Jane Blake who blogs over at Serious Twenty Somethings.
The background information for the excerpt is that Ristauer, otherwise called Ristel, and Tierce are brothers (Ristauer is the elder by five years), and Tierce is apprenticed to an explorer. At this point in the story, it is late November, and Ristauer has been gone for a month with two of his friends on a fun hunting trip.
Jane would love to have a critique on her dialogue: formatting, grammar, if the conversation flows, and makes sense emotionally and logically.
Thank you for taking the time to make a few comments on her piece. Even short, simple comments are very helpful.
The current queue for Open Pen is as follows:
- Elizabeth Dearman
If you would like to submit a piece of writing to be critique, you can read the rules and submit on the Open Pen page.
Serpentine by Jane Blake
Tierce woke late in the night to the slamming of the bedroom door.
“Are you awake?” Came Ristauer’s voice in a loud whisper.
“I am now.”
“Sorry. What a glorious night! Why do you have the curtains closed? It is a full moon. Do you know? I am beginning to enjoy sleeping out on cold nights. There is something exhilarating about sleeping unprotected under the stars. You aren’t asleep are you?”
“There is something I want to show you.”
“Not now, later, next week perhaps.”
“Why an earth are you telling me now?”
“‘Why on earth!’ Appropriate expression for an explorer. Mind if I open the window? It’s stifling in here.”
“Good night!” Said Tierce, and buried himself in his blanket as cold air swept toward him from the window.
“No, stay awake! I was going to tell you about what I want to show you, remember?”
“All right. What is it?”
“You must tell no one; it is a great secret.”
“What in the world are you talking about?”
“You promise not to tell?”
“No, you must promise.”
“Very well, I promise, but go on!”
“You’ll never believe it!”
“If we go on at this rate I expect not.”
“Don’t interrupt.” Said Ristel distantly, still looking into the courtyard with his back to the room. “What a glorious night!”
“I promise never to reveal that fascinating fact to any living soul, even under the cruelest torture.”
“Don’t be ridiculous! of course that is not what I want to tell you, and if you would stop interrupting, I might be able to get a word in edgewise.”
“I’m all ears.”
“No, you are all sarcasm. Maybe I won’t tell you after all.”
Tierce lay down laughing. For the moment all the reverie had disappeared from his brother’s voice and it had become even slightly sulky. But the moment was gone and Ristel’s voice came through the moonlight tingling with excitement.
“There is a dragon in Drispen, Tierce. Felletras, Nisseal, and I brought it back with us, and we are convinced that it is tractable!”
“A dragon?” Triece said sitting up again and staring. “But you were hunting!”
“Yes, hunting dragons. It was Felletras’ idea. That man is brilliant Tierce! How many years have we known about dragons? Six hundred? And until now no one has even considered . . .”
“What are you talking about?” Tierce interrupted “You said you and Felletras brought a dragon back. Back from where? Where is it now?”
“Yes.” Said Ristel patiently. “I told you, we brought a dragon back from our hunting trip. I’ll show it to you soon.”
“But dragons are dangerous!”
“Not really, not if you know how to deal with them.” Ristel stretched. “There is no way I can sleep yet, I’m going for a walk.”
Tierce lay thinking. After some time, Ristel returned and when his breathing deepened, Tierce got up quietly and closed the window. He woke in the early grey of dawn to find it open again and Ristauer moving about, whistling like a bird.