I joined a Writer's Guild at my new employer and the guild recently issued a challenge to write dialogue, humor - or both. And, if applicable, in the genre for which the aspiring writer (Me, in this case) writes.
I accepted the challenge and came up with the below, which was neither reviewed nor edited by anyone besides myself! ( Feel free to point out any errors!) The question is, do you think it is good dialogue? Funny? Does it sound like young kids? Let me know!
Jeff walked into the kitchen and found his older brother, Gregg, standing at the counter. Gregg was trying to peel a banana – unsuccessfully trying, that is. Jeff watched him struggle for a moment and then grabbed a ripe banana for himself.
“So, just what are you doing, Gregg?” asked Jeff, holding back a laugh.
“Kinda obvious, don’t you think?” said Gregg, wiggling the stem back and forth, trying to get it to break.
“No, not really,” said Jeff, holding the stem of his banana in one hand and gently pinching the blossom scar at the opposite end with other. “Unless, of course, you are trying out a new martial arts submission hold on a defenseless piece of tropical tree fruit.”
“Whatever. What about you? What are you doing?!” mumbled Gregg, now trying to gnaw through the bitter tasting stem.
“Kinda obvious,” mocked Jeff, taking a bite of his nicely peeled banana.
“Thanks, Sherlock – I got that. I mean, why are you peeling it like that?! That’s, well, just weird.”
“No it’s not,” said Jeff.
“Uh, yes, yes it is. Nobody peels bananas like that. Hey, Lisa,” yelled Gregg, “Jeff just peeled a banana from that gross little black dot end – weird or not?”
“Totally weird,” hollered Lisa from the other room. “That’s how serial killers peel bananas.”
“Really? How old are you two, anyway? Three? I’m surprised Mom isn’t still dressing you. Or, does she? As to the banana, this is the bona fide, correct way to peel a banana,” said Jeff, taking another bite.
“Correct? How so?” asked Gregg, rummaging in the dishwasher for a knife.
“Well, since you asked, I’ll be happy to answer. But first, a question: which animals are known for their fondness for bananas?” asked Jeff.
“Toucans!” yelled Lisa from the other room.
“Okay, I’ll give you that,” said Jeff, “even though toucans are birds, not animals. Still, for you two muffin heads, I should have been more specific: what hairy, warm-blooded animals with opposable thumbs are known for eating bananas?”
“People!” said Lisa, walking into the kitchen.
Gregg had finally found a knife and had cut his banana in half. He was now busy using his fingernails to peel back the skin of each half. “Gross,” he muttered, as squished banana got under his fingernails.
“I said animals,” replied Jeff.
“I know,” Lisa sing-songed in response as she grabbed the last banana from the bowl.
“Touché,” said Jeff, popping the last bite of his banana into his mouth. “Let me clarify: same question, but the answer is NOT people, but it IS a type of mammal. So, NOT people, mammal, opposable thumb, likes bananas… Anyone? ”
“Ohhh, I did not understand,” said Lisa, feigning ignorance while she inspected each end of her banana, trying to decide how to peel it. Gregg had finally abandoned his mangled banana and started peeling an orange.
“Raccoons?” said Gregg.
“Gesundheit, Gregg,” said Jeff.
“Well, then, if it’s not RACCOONS, I suspect Professor Jeff von Paininthebutt wants us to say ‘monkey,’” said Gregg, wincing as oils from the orange spritzed him in the eye.
“Correct, Sir Gregg von Knowsnotalot. Surprisingly, you are learning. Monkeys, apes, orangutans – basically any of our simian, banana eating cousins would have been accepted as the correct response. You see, if you observe any of these fine animals – many of which are more intelligent than some of us in this very room, though I’m not specifically naming names –”
“Gregg,” coughed Lisa in to her hand. Gregg flicked her earlobe in retaliation.
“Ow,” said Lisa, rubbing her ear and glaring at Gregg.
“Serves you right,” said Gregg.
“Excuse me,” said Jeff. “As I was saying, if you observe them eating a banana, they hold the stem – Mother Nature’s Banana Handle – and pinch the other end, easily peeling the bitter skin back to reveal the tasty, ready to eat fruit. So, as I said earlier, this is, in fact, the correct way to eat a banana.”
“Dude, you are so full of crap,” said Gregg, putting the orange back in the fruit bowl.
“Perhaps, but colon capacity is an entirely different subject. On the topic of the correct method for peeling bananas, however, just remember this: Who just ate a banana – and who did not?”
“Ha!” laughed Lisa, grabbing the stem of her banana and pinching the blossom scar to peel back the skin.
Still revising the current draft of "The Storm Drain Chronicles." Here's a question or two. First, when do you STOP revising? Then, what do you do with your draft? Expand beta readers for more feedback (and therefore, inevitably, more revisions) or shop it around for an agent/publisher? If the latter, how DOES one do that? Big stump for me there!
at 8:55 AM