Wednesday 11th December
Do We Have To Stick With He Said, She Said?
Posted at 7:00AM Tuesday 03 Sep 2013Bestselling crime writer Elmore Leonard, who died last month aged 87, had 10 Rules for Writing. Number three was Never use a verb other than "said" to carry dialogue...I thought I'd put Elmore's rule to the test in this short story.
WE SHOULD HAVE TALKED
I never did have an orgasm, she admitted
I knew that, he answered
Somehow I never imagined that would bother you, she assumed
Better get that chip off your shoulder, he advised
The stench of burning martyr isn't very attractive, he added.
I suppose the crunch came that night, you must remember. It was at the restaurant, you know the one, in the High Street, she babbled.
Where all the waitresses fancied me, he boasted
In you dreams, she chuckled
You always put me down, he complained
I think I fell out of love with you over the lasagne, she decided
In that case have the decency to pay half the bill, he demanded
It wasn't the food, she explained.
I didn't imagine it was! he exclaimed.
I suddenly saw someone else in your face, she fantasised. Someone I didn't like.
A little too much Chianti perhaps, he hinted.
Whatever do you mean? she hissed.
You should listen to yourself sometimes, he grunted.
I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about, she insisted.
I didn't mean to cause offence, he lied.
There was a time when you wouldn't have been so cruel, she murmured.
We both behaved better back then, he noted.
I have not done anything with which to reproach myself, she objected.
I can see this going on all night, he predicted.
What make you say that? she questioned.
Just experience, he reflected.
Oh, would you like it go on...all...night? She simpered.
We're separated now, he told her.
Yes, but there's still time to reconsider, she urged.
Not if you were the last woman on earth, he vowed.
Why are you being so mean to me? she wailed.
Ow! He yelped, holding the side of his face where she had left a hand print.
We just bring out the worst each other, she zoned into the heart of the problem.
I should have said something before, she said.
Yes, he said. We should have talked.
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