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Goblin conversations

Farted by zl, May 23, 2013, 08:23:05 AM

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Experiments with writing dialogue. I tried to omit extra description as far as I was able.

Derrick and Letti stood on a yellow, weed-covered hill, looking at the sprawling human capital before them.  They were awed by its size.  They lived in tunnels and caves.  They rarely build free-standing structures, and had nothing that compared to the soaring towers, walls and bridges of the city.  
   Derrick had come here to deliver a message to the human king. Letti had traveled with him to ensure he arrived safely, but would now go back the other way, back to their home.  Both of them had long ears, green-hued skin, and stood three feet tall.
   "Well," said Letti, "I had better get back."
   "The city's bigger than before.  It's huge."
   "It's been a good year for them." Letti walked back towards the campfire, and started packing.

   "I have message for king." Derrick spoke quickly.  He had rehearsed that line many times.
   "Do you? Let's see it."
   "For king. Only king."
   "I'm not gonna read the note, just let me see what you've got. Give it here." The guard brought the scroll close to his mustached face.  "This is it?"
   "Yes."  Humans were so slow.  Everything they said, everything they did, was ponderously slow.  Derrick fidgeted as the guard turned the paper around in his hands.
   "Looks official enough.  For a goblin anyway.  Alright, open the doors! Let the goblin through." Two guards on the wall above turned a wheel, and the gate slid up into the wall.  Taking back his scroll, and tying it to his belt, Derrick stepped towards the city's interior.
   "Hey! Don't cause any trouble. Straight to the castle and back."
   "No trouble. I go to castle."

   "Spare coin? Spare a copper?"
   "Hello, I have copper."
   "Bless you, sir."
   "Here, is yours."
   "Say, you got a cold?"
   "Yes, have cold"
   "Sounds like it. You ought to visit the chapel, get some help."
   "I need help, yes."
   "They'll fix you up quick.  The priest, he's a good one - tell him Roderick sent you, we've always gotten along."
   "You help me?"
   "What? You want my help?"
   "Need to find castle."
   "Can't you see? Just look for the tall building!"
   "All buildings tall"
   "Well, the tallest tall building! What do you want at the castle anyways?"
   "I have message for king."
   "Hoo! What do you have to say to him?"
   "It is secret, sorry"
   "Didn't I just do you a favor? Don't make me guess"
   "No, it is secret. I cannot say."
   "Listen, you think I don't know what you are?"
   "I think, um,"
   "I could tell you were a goblin before you opened your mouth.  You've got the stink!"
   "What stink? What?"
   "What are you planning with the king? Out with it, or I call over a guard"
   "No guard! Please!"
   "What's your game? Spy? Assassin?"
   "I diplomat! I give message! Please!"
   "Tell me the message!"
   " secret! I won't tell!"
   "Help! Guards! Help!"
   "No! Shhhh!"
   "Spy! A spy!"

   "Psst. Hey, over here."
   "There are guards after me - just around the bend."
   "Come in here. I'll get the gate."
   "Thank you."
   "Alright, duck down here. Hush."
   "Stay low, out of the light. Shh."
   "They're past. Come here - it's good to see a kinsman."
   "Thank you - it is good indeed."
   "What brings you to this city?"
   "A task - I carry a message for the king."
   "Oh! Ha! Another diplomat!"
   "You, too?"
   "Well, I was, anyway. Hold on - wait right there."
   "What now?"
   "Just hold on...there. Here you go."
   "What! You never delivered it?"
   "No. No...I gave up, I got hurt. You see my hand?"
   "Oh! I'm sorry!"
   "Well, after that, I figured, I've tried enough.  The whole idea is hopeless - you can't force diplomacy on people determined to see you dead."
   "Why haven't you returned? I'm sure you'd be forgiven."
   "Ah, I'd only be seen as a failure."
   "No! You'd be welcome!"
   "It's not true, friend.  Whatever face the people put on, they'd wonder - if I hadn't given up, how many of their friends might have lived?  If my message ended the war...but, besides all that, city life has it's advantages.  Share a meal with me, stay awhile."
   "I...well, I suppose I should lay low for a bit.."
   "Yes - let the guards forget you! It's settled.  I'm Perni."
   "Derrick.  It's good to know you."
   "Good to know you, Derrick. Come on with me - mind your head - it's a bit more comfortable over here."
   "...All these books! Amazing!"
   "The humans are so rich, they throw out their books, like trash. Sit down, get yourself warm.  Tell me about your time in the city while I get some food."
   "Thank you. What sort of food?"
   "Don't worry.  Tell me, how'd you get those guards on you?"
   "I was talking to a priest - "
   "Wait. Quiet."
   "...somewhere around here.  Probably slipped into some hole. Open that grate, will you? Keep a sharp eye out."
   "We need to get out. Quick and quiet, follow me."
   "I'm with you."
   "...No luck? Alright, check that gate over there.  Locked?  Here, use this."
   "Better take a look here, sir - there's a light in here."
   "Move aside.  What's this? There's a whole little burrow in there! Parson, could you crawl in there?"
   "On my belly, maybe, sir, but I couldn't do much more than wriggle around."
   "Never mind. Pass me your torch, and circle around - watch any other exits.  No matter how many nests you burn, they keep on coming back...idiotic creatures."

   "They'll poke around a bit, and leave once they're sure we're not hiding in some nook."
   "They won't follow us into here?"
   "Ha! How could they? Unless they have a baby on the force."
   "Look! That light!"
   "What? What's there?"
   "They've set a fire! Perni!"
   "A fire? Wait here, I'll be back - wait!"
   "What are you doing?!"
   "I need my book!"

   "I checked all over, sir, but I couldn't find any other exits."
   "Oh, forget it - we got him."
   "He came out?"
   "No - I thought the place was empty - but I guess he was hiding somewhere in there.  We heard him after a minute."
   "Heard him? ...ah."
   "Damned thing should have just come out.  Stupid way to die."
   "Well - he could have if he wanted to. They're stubborn."
   "Stupid.  Would have had a much easier time out here with us."
   "Should we, ah, dig out the body?"
   "No, it's all the same.  It'll be cleaned up with the rest of it."
   "I'll let the crew know."
   "Stupid thing. What a nightmare.ââ,¬Â


I liked how you told it all through dialogue. The end of part too seemed a bit off, I don't know why. I'm not sure if the "Bye!" felt weird or something else, but I'm awful at dialogue so ignore me.

I think people should post more of this sort of thing in this forum. I'll start posting my stories as soon as I'm able but I'm flogging most of my portfolio to publishers at the moment and I'm not allowed to post it!