Tuesday, April 26, 2011

V Is For Vinnie And Ellie

Yesterday I wrote about my penchant for writing unhappy love stories. But that's not always the case. When the story calls for it, I am more than willing to write happy endings.

Vinnie and Ellie is an example of this. This WIP was the result of my first foray into the world of NaNoWriMo back in 2009. I set out wanting to write a chick lit novel, just to see if I could do it. And I guess since the story's still unfinished, whether I can do it remains to be seen.

Anyway, Vinnie and Ellie is the story of Lavinia (who calls herself Nia and is called Vinnie by her friends) and the drop dead gorgeous Llewelyn (who calls himself Lew and is called Ellie by friends). They meet, they fall in love, complications arise but at the end of the story, when it's all said and done, these two will have a happy ending. It's not quite written yet but I know that's where it'll end.

The scene I'm going to post below is their very first meeting. Or part of it anyway. They meet in a bar where Lavinia is celebrating her new unexpected unemployed status with a fifth of whiskey. Enter Lew, a guy just looking for a beer and place to sit.


“This seat taken?” a man’s voice asks.

I don’t look up. “Does it look like it’s taken?”

“No, but I didn’t know if maybe you had a boyfriend-“


“Or girlfriend-“

“Oh, how very progressive of you.”

“Maybe using the facilities or something,” the man finishes.

“No,” I say, looking up finally. “That seat’s not taken.”

The man to whom the voice belongs appears to be the textbook definition of ‘tall, dark and handsome.’ His eyes are blue and his dark hair is cropped close to his head. He has some stubble on his face but it only adds to his rugged good looks. He’s wearing a tee shirt and jeans, both of which do a lot to promote his athletic build. He smiles at me as he slides onto the stool, revealing his very white and very straight teeth.

“So you’re here on your own then?” he asks as he signals to Frank.

“Just me and my friend, Jack.”

Frank comes over and my newfound, yet entirely unwanted, companion asks for a beer. Whatever’s on tap. He’s not picky. Frank pours Sam Adams. When the new arrival receives his pint, he throws some money down on the bar and takes a swig of the beer. Frank looks at me as he gathers the money. It’s a look I’ve seen before. Is this man bothering you, Nia? I shake my head slightly. Nothing I can’t handle. Frank nods and turns to the register.

“Jack?” the tall dark stranger asks as he sets his beer down.

Not too bright, this one. Probably gets by on his looks. He probably makes women everywhere crazy with those well muscled arms of his. He then dazzles them with his baby blue eyes and easy grin and washboard abs so they don’t notice his total lack of wit. Too bad for him I’m immune to such manipulation.

Probably immune to such manipulation.

I indicate my glass. “Jack. As in ‘Daniels’?”

“You want another?” Frank asks me.

I nod and Frank pours me another whiskey. I do not throw any money on the bar and Frank walks away to tend to some other patrons.

“Come here often?” the man asks.

“Wanna know my sign next?” I ask. “Look, if you’re trying to pick me up, I’m not interested. Save us both some time and hassle, you know?”

“Who said I was trying to pick you up?”

“You certainly seem like you’re trying to pick me up.”

“Just making conversation.”

“Just checking.”

“I think I may have stumbled on to why you’re here alone,” he says.

“I’m sitting here at this bar alone,” I say. “But I am not alone in this building. I have a friend-“

“Besides Jack?”

“Who dances,” I say and point over my shoulder in the general direction of the dance floor. “She’s over there.”

He looks over his shoulder. “You don’t dance?”

“Haven’t had enough to drink yet to consider it.”

“So you’re one of those.”

“Whatever that means.”

“So touchy,” he says. “You always like this?”



“What do you care?”

“Are you new to the concept of conversation?”

“I didn’t ask you to sit here.”


“Nor did I ask you to converse with me,” I say. “In fact, I think I’ve done quite a lot to discourage conversation.”

“Also true.”

“And yet,” I say.

He grins. “Here I am.”

“Yes, here you are. So, what are you? A glutton for punishment?”

“Not especially.”

“Lose a bet?”

“Not that I recall.”

“Someone put you up to this?” I ask, looking over my shoulder to see if Susannah is having a good laugh at my expense. She isn’t. She’s thrown herself into a very energetic, if slightly intoxicated, version of the Robot.

He laughs. “You know, I don’t know why but I kind of like you.”

“I don’t know why either.”

“Can I ask your name?”

“If you’re asking me if you’re capable of forming the words which will form a sentence inquiring after my name, I think the answer is ‘yes.’ I don’t know you very well but I have faith you could handle it.”

“If I asked you your name,” he says then, “would you tell me?”

“Ah,” I say. “Now there’s a valid question.”

“And the answer?”

I look him over and have a sip of my drink. “Nia,” I say. “My name is Nia.”

“Nia,” he says. “That’s nice.”

“I’ve always thought so,” I say. “What’s your name?”


“Like short for Lewis?”

“Like that, yeah,” he says.

He looks over his shoulder again.

“Am I keeping you from something? Someone?” I ask. “Wife? Girlfriend? Boyfriend? Your mother?”

He shakes his head and looks back at me. “I’m flying solo tonight.”

“Left your entourage at home, did you?”

“I don’t really know how much of an entourage it is,” he says. “No wife, no girlfriend.”

“Boyfriend then.”

“No boyfriend,” he says. “Although that’s very progressive of you.”

“I do try to keep an open mind.”

He snorts into his beer. “I do have a couple of friends but they’re spending the evening with their wives and girlfriends.”

“Wives and girlfriends?”

He shrugs. “They like to keep an open mind.”

“An example for us all,” I say. “So, what’s wrong with you?”

“What do you mean?”

“You’re good looking, kind of nice, entirely single and apparently free of any emotional baggage and yet here you are, sitting alone talking to an overly hostile woman in some smoky dive on a Friday night. So what’s wrong with you?”

“Only kind of nice?” he asks.

I shrug.

“What’s wrong with you?” he asks.

“What makes you think something’s wrong with me?”

“You’re good looking, kind of nice-“

“Kind of nice?” I interrupt. “That’s one hell of a curve you’re grading on.”

“Entirely single but unfortunately broke from excess emotional baggage fees,” Lew finishes.

“And you still have to wonder what’s wrong,” I say.

“Maybe I’m just trying to be polite.”

“This is you trying to be polite?”

“Is this you trying to be polite?” he asks.

“Who says I’m trying to be polite?”

He smiles again and even laughs. “No one within earshot,” he says. “Another round?”


  1. Love your excerpt - sounds like you write a lot of dialogue, like I do. I LOVE good dialogue :)

  2. Love me some good dialogue...
    I also love quick and witty people. This sounds way fun :D

  3. Nothing better than witty banter. Loved it!

  4. Oh, that was FABULOUS! I normally don't like an overly goodlooking male, but his ability to take abuse with wit is fabulous! And I love her snark--totally want to know what landed her with that attitude. 2009 was my first NaNo, too--still haven't gotten back to that one.

  5. This was fantastic. I laughed a few times while reading it. And I love the twist on their names--Vinnie and Ellie. :D

  6. Excellent dialogue. This is super, I can't wait to read the whole thing!

    I’m A-Z Blogging on Langley Writes about Writing and Langley’s Rich and Random Life

  7. What great names. And the passage is wonderful. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know a part of them. Sounds like a fabulous story.

  8. Thanks everyone for the positive comments!

    @Trisha- This was one of the first scenes I wrote and actually made me think about trying to write an entire 50,000 word novel of nothing but dialogue. I nixed that idea pretty early on but I still want to try it some day.

  9. Very nice start. Excellent dialog between characters that interest me. It makes me want to hear more of the story.

    Hope you join us in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge Reflections Mega Post on Monday May 2nd.

  10. Excellent! I love snarky dialogue. :D

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  11. I love the short, zippy dialog. Makes for a great read! :)

  12. That's an intriguing segment. My favorite line is "I think I may have stumbled on why you are here alone."

  13. Hahaha! I loved that! Highly amusing dialogue :) If you can keep that up for most of your book I would CERTAINLY buy it!

  14. I love how natural the dialogue sounds! great post