This month, it’s all about dialogue. To celebrate the launch of our new Fiction Essentials: DIALOGUE, we’re giving you three lines of dialogue from three famous books. And we want you to somehow put them ALL into your original story!

Your three lines of dialogue are:

  • “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”
  • “He’s never done anything like this before.”
  • “What’s it going to be then, eh?”

“What’s it going to be then, eh?”

“You could shoot me in the face,” I muttered. “No. Actually, bourbon, neat,” I let out a long, dramatic sigh, then after a moment of thought, added, “The cheapest you have.”

The barman looked at me with something resembling pity, before reaching under the bar and pulling out a bottle that I am fairly certain was kerosene. I sighed again.

“Oh, Dave, it’s not that bad,” Brendan said, loudly pulling up a stool next to me. “I think you’re being a little dramatic.”

“This is the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone, ever,” I insisted, and took a sip. Yep. Definitely kerosene.

“She was it,” I continued, after a fit of coughing. “Gorgeous. Perfect tan. Great legs. She made me feel so comfortable.”

“Was she a table?” Brendan asked. “I really feel like you’re getting hung up on this. You dated for, what? Two weeks?


“Whatever. My point is, you fall in love every other month. Maybe it’s time you, you know. Flew solo for a bit. Go out there and take the time to find yourself, or something.”

I rolled my eyes and looked away. Brendan would never understand true love, the emotionless bag of wheat that he is. I noticed that the barman was watching me intently, hands deftly cleaning the glassware.

“I know that look anywhere,” the barman said, nodding sagely. “Broken heart.”

“Into a million tiny pieces,” I choked. Brendan rubbed the bridge of his nose.

“Love is a thing, eh,” said the barman. “It is a beautiful and terrible thing, and should therefore be treated with great caution.”

“Truly profound,” Brendan muttered under his breath. I ignored him. The man had the sensitivity of dried glue.

“You’re so right,” I told the barman, my eyes pleading. “What should I do? I can’t go on like this.”

“Well, I don’t know your exact situation, friend,” the barman said, in his deep, gravelly voice. “But if you’re sure it’s what you want… seems to me, best to go and get it, eh?”

I felt a sensation deep inside my stomach. A rising warm feeling. Kerosene. No, something more. Hope.

“That’s terrible advice,” said Brendan. “She left him because he is over the top. Far, far too impulsive. Now he’s going to go and make some grand, highly inappropriate romantic gesture, and end up with a restraining order.”

I took no notice, except of the fact that Brendan had a slice of cold, burnt toast where his heart should be. I slammed my fist on the bar.

“That’s it! I’m getting her back!” I declared. “I’m going to really impress her. Show her that romance still exists in this world!” I jumped off my stool, reinvigorated. “First, I need a horse.”

“You’re missing the point,” Brendan said to my rapidly retreating back.

“I wish I could say he’s never done anything like this before,” I heard him say to the barman as I left. “But I’d be lying.”