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  • Donald J. Bingle, Writer on Demand

A Reading That Was Almost Too Successful

Credible Dialogue Makes Reading a Bit Too Successful: A fellow in my writers group is doing a documentary on such groups and has interviewed me and many other members. He recently decided he would like audio clips of his interviewees reading from something they wrote to use as voiceovers for some of the overview shots of the group or their books or whatever, so he asked me and another author to hang after group today and read 3-4 minutes from one of our works. I read the scene from Net Impact where Dick threatens Bev (the last three pages of Chapter 11, for those who may be interested). After a brief pause in the middle as the interviewer adjusted sound levels for my booming reading voice, it went fine. The other author read 3-4 poems and then we both headed out while the interviewer packed away his microphone, before all meeting with the rest of the group for lunch. On the way out, I noticed a suited, serious guy giving me the once over as I walked down the stairs, but thought nothing more of it. When the interviewer arrived at lunch, though, he informed us that he had been approached by security at the library. "Can you guess why?" "I was too loud?" "Yes, but not really. Apparently someone outside the room reported to security that people in the study room were discussing terrorist activity." After explaining, apparently several times, that I was reading from my novel about spies and terrorists, security let the interviewer go without calling the local police. (My gaming friends, in particular will be familiar with a similar incident from the past.) I suppose I should be scared or bemused, or I should berate myself about not using my indoor voice in a library study room, but mostly I'm just really proud of myself for writing credible, effective dialogue. Better than a five-star review, though I wouldn't mind a few more of those, too.

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