The following is my result from an exercise at a workshop on dialogue at the Geneva Writer’s Group. A teenage daughter comes home at 3 a.m. and the father is waiting. Here I experimented with both direct and hidden dialogue.
“It’s three in the morning.” I wore my big watch, her big clock, with the loud tick, on the table.
“Oh hi Dad. Thanks, I had a good time.”
I rose to embrace. She pulled away.
Our eyes met. She shrugged a wince and yawned, pointing to her room’s door.
I moved in again.
“No sniffing,” I said. This time she received my arms.
“I was just concerned.”
“I know.” The wince became a smile, weak and wet-eyed.
“Glad you’re home.”
She held her hands, fingers agitating, head dropping.
“It was awful.” A tear raced to the floor, silently splattering pain.