“I don’t have anything to tell. We went out diving this morning. She was excited about a find we had.”
“Seriously? You found something? You mean, gold?”
“Look, I can’t divulge details to some salesgirl.” DeLaney shook his head.
“Inventor, but don’t worry about it. So, cough it up. Where is she?”
This exchange shows us the two involved characters are trying to play it close to the vest. People clam up when they feel like someone is getting too close to their secrets. It’s a different kind of stress–closer to tension–but equally effective. We can picture their facial expressions based on the curtness of the dialogue. If you want to increase the effect, go back to the first two encounters and make the dialogue more complex so that this scene stands out in it’s rhythm. It’s not something that a reader will consciously notice, but it will strengthen the impression of tension in this scene.
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