Let your characters explain themselves

Penny stared down at the police interview table.
‘I’m embarrassed and quite scared,’ she said. The policeman nodded.
‘I’m aware of that,’ he said. ‘However, I’m not above using your fragile emotional state to get the information I need. You see, despite sympathising with you and, to be entirely honest, being quite attracted to you, I am very good at my job.’
‘I’ve noticed that you’re attracted to me,’ said Penny, looking up and half-smiling. He looked away hurriedly.
‘That’s right,’ he said. ‘I’m nowhere near as subtle as I think I am.’
‘Now I’m wondering how I can use this to my advantage,’ she said. ‘It’s not the sort of thing I’d normally do, but this is a stressful situation and there’s room for these kind of surprises in the way that I’ve been characterised.’ Just then, the door burst open.
‘Right!’ shouted the slightly higher-ranking policeman, storming into the room. ‘I’m here to break the tension and to alter the pace of the scene, which seems to have stalled somewhat.’


  1. "Also to establish that I'm the bad cop, and he's the good cop! Right?" Reluctant nods and significant glances all round. "Right."

    I'm here to say thank goodness there's no more "modern, accessible" references that render me unable to finish reading the paragraph.

    I've read this one about five times because the sentence flow and punctuation is so blessedly normal.

    Also, this kind of links in with a point made at Inky Fool this week: "You should be able to watch a good movie with the sound turned off." Erm, here. This scene is a cliche, but it could work in the right context; possibly even with this dialogue.

  2. "Spoilsport" said Penny and the lower ranking policeman simultaneously.

  3. Yes, why not let them make a fool of themselves!

    Old Kitty's right on!!

  4. Sublety anybody?

    Maybe I'll go check out my scenes, see if the read like this. Sorta fun in the short run however.


  5. I'm commenting ostensibly to show appreciation but really to attempt to show off my cleverness.

  6. ‘I’m here to break the tension and to alter the pace of the scene, which seems to have stalled somewhat.’

    -that made me laugh the most. thanx joey for your awesome blog. haha. never fails to make me laugh

  7. You can't have your characters just announce how they feel! That makes me angry!

  8. "Anakin, you're breaking my heart!"

    (Late comment, couldn't resist)