“... Hey, Sarah.”
“... Hi. How are you?”
“I’m, uh… you know. I’m ok. I’m… Yeah. You?”
“Good, good, I’m… I’m good.”
“... Can I sit here?”
“Oh my gosh, yes, I’m so sorry! I- Please, please-”
“Hey, it’s fine-”
“-yes, sit, sit-”
“-it’s a… unprecedented-”
“-situation, I ‘spose. Um-”
“I already ordered. I hope that’s ok.”
“Yeah, of course, that’s totally fine-”
“I’m just- I’m starving, and I couldn’t wait any longer.”
“No, no, I get it, I would have done the same. Probably not gonna get anything anyway. Sorry for being late, by the way. There was a wreck on the highway, and people just wouldn’t stop slowing down to look at it.”
“Oh wow, that’s terrible.”
“I know, right? Someone gets hurt, and your response is to just gawk? How wrong is that? Some people, geez.”
“Oh, I didn’t- I wasn’t talking about that. I actually kind of understand that part. I meant the accident itself, I hope no one was seriously-”
“Really? You don’t think that’s kind of, I don’t know- messed up?”
“... I think morbid curiosity is pretty natural, Darren. I’m not saying it’s not… Well, I mean it’s called ‘morbid curiosity’ for a reason, but it’s still natural, still normal. I don’t think it’s necessarily fair to judge people for it, either.”
“Wow, that didn’t take long.”
“What? Don’t act like that, it’s not-”
“Hasn’t even been five minutes and we’re already talking about what’s wrong with me.”
“I just said it wasn’t fair to judge them, Darren, for fu-”
“I wasn’t judging them, I was just-”
“You literally just did, you literally talked about strangers like they were bad people, like you were better than them. What else would you call that but ‘judging,’ Darren?”
“Fine! Fine. Let’s just go ahead and say you win, and get this one over with. How ‘bout that? Just add it to all your other ‘victories.’”
“I hate it when you roll your eyes like that. Makes you look like a child.”
“Hello sir, how ya doing today? Do you need a menu?”
“Uh, no. No, thank you. I’m fine with water.”
“Sure thing. Be right back with that.”
“... I’m sorry.”
“... It’s fine.”
“No, it’s… it’s not. I don’t know why I’m always… Why I’ve been so-”
“Here ya go!”
“Oh! Thank you.”
“Uh-huh. Getcha anything else?”
“No, I’m- this is perfect. I’m on a diet! Heh. Ahem.”
“... Right. You doing ok, honey? Those eggs alright?”
“They’re delicious, thank you so much.”
“‘Course, dear. You holler if you need anything else.”
“I will, thank you.”
“He’s a lively one.”
“Uh, Darren... I’m pretty sure she’s a she.”
“What? No way! That’s a dude.”
“See, there you go: judging people again.”
“Oh, my- I wasn’t judging, Sarah! There’s no possible way that dude- you know what? I’ll prove it. Next time he comes back around-”
“And I’m the child.”
“-call him over, and take a look at his nametag. I guar-an-tee… he’ll have a dude’s name.”
“Oh please, don’t look-”
“Did you bring the papers or not?”
“... Yeah. I did. They’re in my jacket pocket.”
“O-kay… Did you sign them?”
“... Sarah, this can’t be-”
“I swear, Darren.”
“Hey, come on-”
“No, Darren! No… There isn’t some… some final argument you can make to make me change my mind. How many times do you want to keep going over the same thing, to keep having the same fight?”
“What’re you even going to say? What point could you possibly bring up after misgendering our server, and condemning rubberneckers on the freeway, that would paint you in a better light?”
“No funny quip? Nothing snarky to say? I’m surprised you don’t even have some- some… barbed joke lined up, ready to fire at me and make you seem just… oh-so-smart. But no. No, I think you maybe… maybe you finally realize how much in the wrong you are, Darren, that it’s not even about being wrong, just… being good, being a better person, and that’s… that’s not what you are.”
“You’re saying I’m a bad person? You don’t think that’s a bit judgemental?”
“Nooo, I’m saying you’re not good.”
“Uh, same freakin’ thing, right?”
“... You know what? I’m really not in the mood for this. If you didn’t even sign the papers, I don’t even know what I’m doing here, and-”
“No no no no, that’s not one you can just back away from. You’re saying I’m a bad person? Explain that one to me. I’m curious. Quench that curiosity, alright?”
“... It’s ‘quell.’”
“Ah, so that’s it. I don’t words too good, huh?”
“... You’re like an empty glass, Darren. You have no natural sense of morality, no place on the scale, just a singular purpose: to be filled with liquid and carry it, and pass it on to the pourer, or… or whoever, really. But you’re empty. Just an empty glass, and I… I can see right through you.”
“You two still doing ok over here? You want the check, honey?”
“I’ll get it for her.”
“Oh! Well, alrighty then. You need me to get more water, fill that up for you?”
“No, that’s alright, I’m good. Thank you.”
“Mkay, then. I’ll be right back with that check.”
“... You didn’t have to do that, Darren.”
“... I know.”
“... Thank you.”
“... I what?”
“... You might… You might have a few points.”
“I’m not exactly… I mean, you know I’m not good at taking criticism. Even from myself. That could be part of the problem, I guess. I’m not gonna… improve if I can’t admit… what’s wrong with me. The bad parts.”
“It’s not about-”
“I know, I know. It’s… I just think it probably actually is fair to call those parts about me bad. Or, you know, not bad… but… I don’t know, I can’t think of the right word. I mean, I can’t words too good, right?”
“... It’s good to see you smile.”
“... I guess… I guess my point is that I… I know I can do better. I can be better.”
“I, uh… I want nothing more than to… to ask you to stick with me while I do that.”
“But… I know that’s not… It wouldn’t be fair to ask you that. So… Here.”
“... Thank you.”
“... You’re welcome.”
“Mkay, here ya go! Just come on up to the register whenever you’re ready to pay, ok?”
“Perfect, will do, thank you so much.”
“‘Course, sweetie, anytime. You two have a beautiful day now, ok? It’s gorgeous out there, you should try to get some of that sunshine.”
“Yeah, uh, we’ll try, thanks.”
“Uh-huh, buh-bye now.”
“Did you see his nametag?”
“... I saw her nametag. It said ‘Hydrangea.’”
“What the fu- what kind of name is that?!”
“I don’t know. The name of someone ready to take their improvement into their own hands, without letting the fear of others’ judgement get in their way?”
“... Oh. Right.”
“... Sorry. I don’t didn’t mean for that to sound so… harsh.”
“But I can’t be the one to always help you reach those conclusions, to think about other people through a lens other than your own.”
“If you want to be better, you have to be the one to do it.”
“I know! I’m- I get it. Really. Thank you.”
“... You’re welcome.”
“... I mean it.”
“... Me too.”
“... I should probably go pay for this. Head out.”
“... Ok. Yeah, if that’s… If you’re ready.”
“... Think so... It was good to see you, Sarah.”
“... You too.”
“... You take care of yourself. Ok?”
“I will. And you too. Really.”
“... I’ll try my best.”
“... I love you.”
“... Love you, too.”
“... Goodbye, Darren.”
“... Goodbye, Sarah.”
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Hi, first off, thank you so much for following me and showing me so much support! I love the way you organized your story, there was a lot of dialogue and you're story was easy to read. Honestly, I didn't even tackle this story, because I thought it was to hard. Can you also please comment on my story, I would really appreciate some feedback.
Thank you, I’m glad you found it an easy read! It was a tough prompt, but I love dialogue more than anything else, so I definitely loved attempting the prompt, haha. I just left a comment on yours!
Hey Aaron, I really, really enjoyed the way you wrote the dialogue so realistically, complete with stutters and wrong words and pauses. It was a good move to put the waitress' parts in italics to highlight change of speaker. A nice glimpse into a difficult moment between two people. Good one!
Thank you so much! I tend to overdo with the stuttering sometimes, so I’m glad it wasn’t too much, haha. And I’m glad you thought the italics worked! I’ve seen a couple other creative ways people managed to have more than two characters, but I thought that seemed the easiest!
Well done! I appreciate you taking the prompt fully—dialogue only! I know how strange that was (please check out my story if you have the time!). But it was such an interesting exercise, and I think you handled it very well! This was a great exploration of perfectly believable characters, and you achieved an impressive character arc in this small snippet of conversation. Well done!
Thank so you much, I really appreciate that! I always strive for believability with my dialogue, and I feel that any piece of writing, no matter how small, needs to show growth and/or development of its characters, though that obviously can vary from piece to piece. I’m glad you enjoyed it, and I gave yours a read through as well!
There's a reason I pick up a story to read. I try the title and the first word. That's how I read. I loved the stuttering characters. It shows how real the conversation is. It shows their nervousness and their love and their weaknesses and it made me want to cry. I don't know if they are going to get divorced since you talked about signed papers. But I could see, from their discussions, that there's a reason for this. She thinks he's judgmental and he thinks that she makes herself seem perfect. That's a line there. I just think this was won...
Oh man, you got it exactly! I’m so happy you were able to hear their nervousness and love, as well as the reasons why it’s clearly not going to work out for them. Thank you so much! 😁
Really well done! The comparison of the transgender waitress taking her fight into her own hands and the fact that Darren needs to do the same and recognize that people fight for the best versions of themselves all the time. Really really well done!!
Thank you so much, I’m so happy you picked up on that! Glad you enjoyed it! 😁
Wow. Through just dialogue, you really managed to show so much personality and really introduce the reader to the tension between these two. I'd say that's a job very well done! I really felt for your characters, from the awkward "hello" to the heartfelt " goodbye", I really loved this.
Aw, thank you! I’m glad you were able to connect with them, that was absolutely my goal!
Wow, this story had a lot of clarity and so much clearness in it! Great job Aaron! :)
Thank you, I’m glad you liked it! =D And I’m happy that it had clarity, but I do have to say, A.g. Scott and Tom .’s suggestions certainly helped with that, lol.
I got a little lost in the voices. It is the breaks of speech and breaks of dialogue. It is a problem in a lot of places for this prompt and I have seen it on other submissions. It is a really hard prompt. You miss those dialogue tags. I recommend you name the characters early on. Then we get the voices in our head. It is a dynamic pairing and you capture the voices well. Have a play and see what a final edit gives you. Good Job.
I'm with Tom. I would add that you (Aaron) probably overdo it on the stuttering (I get this is more realistic, but it's less pleasant to read in my opinion.)
Thanks for the input, I’ll edit them down a bit.
Thanks for the critique, I was a little worried all the breaks would get confusing, especially when I introduced a third character. I’ll mess with it some more.
I edited it down a tad, hopefully that helps it read a little easier.
Agreed with Tom. A little lost throughout the story. Clarify it a little, but putting different font for someone speaking and a different one for the other. Perhaps italics would help. I loved the accent you put on the dialogues, and the pauses before the character spoke. Lovely, otherwise. A good read.
Thank you for the suggestion! Glad you enjoyed it overall! 😁
No problem. Glad to help. :)
Wow this was an interesting read, and after some confusion in the beginning, it was quite easy to understand who was talking. Well done!
Thank you, glad you liked it!
Loved how clearly you've brought out the confused emotions. Do you mind having a read at my story under the same prompt and sharing your thoughts please, thanks!!
Thank you! Left a comment on yours!
Thanks so much!!
Great job! This was a hard prompt, for me at least. I think you did a great job telling the story and conveying emotion in words that would normally be in a narrative.
Thank you so much! It was certainly a tough prompt. I had to do significantly more edits in this one to get it right.
Same here! Took me out of my comfort zone for sure as I like to develop characters through narrative.
Yup, same. I loooove dialogue, but I usually prefer to let characterization come out through that, and leave the exposition to narration. Still, it was a fun prompt, and a good challenge!
This is great! Characteristics, scene setting and bit of back story created with only dialogue. Dialogue is very realistic as well with Sarah and Darren talking over one another and the wee quirks.
Aw, thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it. Writing dialogue is always my favorite part, so I do my best to make it sound as real as possible. Happy you thought it sounded good! 😁
Yes it sounded brilliant while reading it! Could imagine the characters in my head no problem. I am actually quite new to this site, I only created an account within the last few weeks. I have submitted two stories with one able to view at the moment. I was wondering if you wouldn’t mind checking it out ? I’m wanting to improve my writing but I haven’t had any comments yet and i’m a bit stuck on how to improve. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated if you have the time. Thanks
Hello, I think this dialogue is brilliant!! Its so refreshing to read well written dialogue. To read unnatural, wooden or cliched speech is really off-putting and Ive seen it done by best-selling novelist and in movies etc. i would like to try this prompt, now.
Thank you so much! I completely agree about unnatural-sounding dialogue, it always ruins the experience for me, so I always try to make it as realistic as possible. And you should absolutely give the prompt a shot! It’s a really good exercise to improve one’s writing.
Now I must say story completely on dialogues is a tough job, but congratulations😀you did it so well. I mean.........your story is awesome, the dialogues are so realistic and so the conversation. Very well done👍 Would you like to read my newest story "Keep the Secret"😊
Thank you so much I really appreciate that! 😁😎 I left a comment on yours!
Nice wrap up with this story, like the general concept. Well done!
I kind of lost track of the speaker since I wasn't sure who said what without the names mentioned on the side before the spoken words. Other than that, it seems pretty interesting and I can feel how the character feels. The argument has a consistent flow which is quite good to keep up with. Well done, Aaron!
Thank you! I’ll certainly do my best! 😁
Beautiful job! I really like this sort of hidden story that lies underneath the dialogue. I like how it provided so much information, but you had to assume a lot of things at the same time.
Thanks! I hope I provided enough info, sometimes I worry about leaving too much open to assumption, haha.
This is really good, well done. You managed to create interesting, layered characters just through dialogue. Poor Darren 😔
Thank you so much! 🙂 And don’t worry! I’m sure he’s making the necessary steps to improve himself! 😁
You write a nice story. The prompt was hard
Thank you! It was a tough one for sure!
yeah :) no probs:)