“Be not afraid, only believe.” Mark 5:36
Don't overuse dialogue tags. They drag the reader down and many readers skim over them anyway.
Excerpt from one of my new books:
Mateo darted through the crowded evening streets, bumping into revelers, and glanced behind him for his pursuer. No one noticed. The festival was in full swing, and people danced, drank, and laughed, cavorting around the square. He had to get away. If he were caught, execution was certain, and should his Tracker be Trevor Dittmar, there would be no chance of escape.
Trevor jogged, closing the distance between them. Why is he running? He knows he can’t match my speed. Humans, so clueless. A woman grabbed him and he grinned broadly at her, polkaing along. He handed her to a passerby and took off on a sprint.
Mateo ducked down an alley and threw himself against the wall of a building. His breathing was hard and shallow. Sweat ran down his face. He couldn’t go any farther. He saw no sign of the Tracker and he relaxed. He breathed in deeply and exhaled slowly, but his relief was short lived. The Tracker jumped down from the roof above him landing in front of him.
“There you are, Mateo. And here I thought I lost you. What a fun game of hide and seek, but you look tired. Shall we just say that I won?” Trevor stood confident, leaning on one leg, his hand on his hip, his right leg out to the front. Impeccably dressed as usual, not the tiniest hint of a wrinkle, not even a scuff on his shoes, he wasn’t even sweating. He ran his thumb across his forehead. “What I’m wondering is, why? Why would you do this to us?”
“Tell me you’re not Trevor Dittmar?”
“My reputation precedes me. Do you think some other Tracker would let you go?”
“Where’s your music?” Mateo challenged. “I heard you play tunes to intimidate your victims.” If it wasn’t Trevor, it might be possible to get away.
Trevor snapped his fingers. “I knew I forgot something. I think you’ll like this one.” He pulled his mini player out of a pocket and made a selection. “Rossini’s ‘The Finale from the William Tell Overture.’ Hilarious, don’t you think? Get it? Because you’re trying to get away and I’m chasing you?” The track ended and he put the player back in his pocket. “Are you full of dread now? You should be.”
Mateo sprang to get away, but Trevor seized the back of his shirt collar and threw him against the wall.
“Don’t make me have to hurt you. Your wife will hate me. I’d rather you come along without a struggle.”
“Have you harmed Abril?”
“It’s rare for us to injure one of our own if innocent. She is innocent, isn’t she?”
Matteo nodded yes.
“She’s fine, but very worried about you. How could you do this to her, to us? You know the seriousness of violating our rules. How long have you been married?”
“We’re going on 15 years, and I do love her.”
“Then why? Why did you turn spy? Why would you disrespect your wife?”
“I was protecting her. You should understand. She told me you were once in love with her, but your mother wouldn’t allow you to marry her. You’d want to protect her too.”
“I remember her and her sisters from my wilder days, but in love with her? No. I think I’d remember that. She manages our Department of Transportation in Arizona, doesn’t she? She’s helped me many times.”
“I work at the same office. We’re both devoted to our work.”
“You did work there. For your crime, there’s only the death sentence.”
“I don’t want to die.”
“I’m not the one that enforces that penalty, unless you fight me here and now. I’m but a lowly Tracker. We all have our jobs.”
“You’re the most famous of all the hunters. You’re ruthless.”
Trevor smirked. “Why, thank you. How kind of you to say. I work hard to excel.”
“And you hate humans.”
“Very much, and you’re a perfect example of why. I’ll never understand why one of us would marry a human.”
Believe in yourself and dream above the clouds. I do and I believe in you.