I’m about to submit one of my stories, and Mr. Rilch objects, strongly, to a line of dialogue. Now, let me make it clear that this is not a matter of “How dare he criticize anything I write!” I’m always open to critiques of my work, and I’ve happily made other changes that he’s suggested. Before I go any further, here’s the line and the context.
Teenage couple. She feels, for reasons too complicated to get into right now, that she might be his Ms. Right Now, rather than Ms. Right. “What’s the catch?” she asked. "To you going out with me."
Mr. Rilch says the line is “lame. Stupid. Change it. No one would ever say that.”
Except that HE did! Years ago, when we were first going out, he had the same doubts, and said those exact words! And he’s read this story before, and never objected to the line, and furthermore, never disputed me when I recalled the incident to him. Now all of a sudden, it’s too unrealistic for anyone to ever believe?
It would not be impossible for me to change the line, but it would be pretty darn difficult. It’s the crucial statement that brings the perceived inequality of their relationship out into the open, and if I changed it, I might have to rework the whole scene. And I say again, I don’t see how it can’t ring true, when it was spoken in real life.
So I submit to you, Dopers: Should I change the line? (And if I don’t change it, should I use a question mark or stick with the period at the end of the second sentence?)