Sacha Black’s writing challenge: How’s your dialogue?

I’ve just been over to Sacha Black’s blog for a bit of inspiration. She is challenging anyone who fancies it to write a short story using only dialogue. Since my next release, the first volume of the Wormholes series, is pretty heavy on dialogue, I thought I’d give it a go. Here is one of the opening scenes reduced to dialogue.
Yesterday’s pic applies.
1280px-Young_planet

“You all right?”
“Can’t see any blood. Mind you, I can see feck all, so it’s possible I’ve lost a limb or two.”
“The building must have come down on top of us.”
“Lucky we’ve got such thick skulls.”
“There has to be a way out. Seems a bit lighter over that way…”
“Careful, Carla. There could be aftershocks.”
“Yeah, exactly. I’d rather not be in here when they hit. It is lighter over this end. Tully! There’s a way out. I can see… Porca miseria!”
“I’m here, I’m here! What’s up? Are you okay?”
“Look out there.”
“Jesus! What in the name of…”
“Tully, where are we?”
“Looks like half time in the War of the Worlds. Let’s go back. There might be a back door.”
“Just for once, can you be serious? How can we go back? Back where? It was the end of the world starting, remember?”
“Looks like it’s over now, so we’re in luck there, at least.”
“I don’t fancy going out there. Not till they put the fires out and those cracks in the ground stop opening and closing like that.”
“Tough! Now just turn around slowly, and don’t try any funny stuff.”
“Who said that?”
“He did.”
“The dwarf with the Kalashnikov?”
“I’m not a dwarf! I’m eleven.”
“Whoever you are, put that fuckin’ thing away before it goes off!”
“Nah. You’re coming with me.”
“Where?”
“Shopping mall. Ace wants to see you.”
“Who’s Ace?”
“The boss. You mess with Ace and he’ll pull all your skin off. A little bit at a time.”
“Okay. Just askin’. You said you were out of deodorant, didn’t you, Carla?”
“Does your mother know where you are?”
“Nobody knows anything anymore. Now move it!”

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Jane Dougherty

I used to do lots of things I didn't much enjoy. Now I am officially a writer. It's what I always wanted to be.

3 thoughts on “Sacha Black’s writing challenge: How’s your dialogue?”

  1. The all-dialogue approach makes it feel very fast-paced, a little frantic. So fun to play with scene techniques like that.

    1. You’re right. All dialogue, no dialogue tags and you get pure action. But I think you have to be a very skilled writer to keep up that fast pace and not leave your readers craving a bit of description and scene-setting just to draw breath!

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