Let us start a conversation:
Having a BA in English, I learned the best way to improve your writing is to start with a prompt. Whether the prompt is combining random nouns into a short story, or starting with a first person viewpoint and changing to a third, you will never go wrong if you allow your imagination to start somewhere.
So let’s get started!
The webpage writingexercises.co.uk is a great site to find beginner writing prompts.
I decided to pick the prompt, “Random Dialogue Generator.” This prompt is set up to allow the writer to continue a line of given dialogue, and advance the conversation.
CLICK HERE TO JOIN ME IN THIS EXERCISE.
TWIDDLE TEST ~ DIALOGUE WRITING
Let’s set a time limit to the writing for five minutes. Does everyone have their timers on? Don’t forget to generate your first line of dialogue.
I received the sentence, “Sorry, its just that I get very nervous when someone else is driving.”
“Sorry, it’s just that I get very nervous when someone else is driving.”
This is something I never expected to hear from my driving instructor.
“Umm. Well, what’s the next step?” I coughed out after stopping at the cross.
“Right?” I turned on my blinker.
“No. NO. Click that off. Yes. yes. Make sure there are no pedestrians crossing at the walk. That’s the most important. Most people forget this as they tend to focus on the road. I’ve even seen it happen with experienced drivers.”
“Like me… like me?”
“No. Obviously not, right?”
“I’m afraid you should be starting on the break at this point. Really-break, break!”
“I am! I am! My gosh. Are you insane!?”
“You were going around 30mph you-“
“I was way before the line. It’s not even my first time driving. Why in the world-“
“Just pull in here. Yes, watch- turn the wheel. Lord. Stop. Stop. I need a smoke. Don’t move. I’ll be back in a minute.”
My five minutes are gone in a flash. Amazing how quickly the time escapes, isn’t it?
You may also try for ten minutes, or continue with your story if you like where the conversation was headed. Either way, this prompt is a good way to practice your dialogue and writing skills. It is also interesting to see where the imagination goes.
Another good way to practice dialogue-writing is to go into a crowded restaurant and ease-drop on genuine conversations. You will find that most conversations are very erratic and do not “flow” like a description.
How people think conversations are:
“I didn’t know we would be having fish.”
“Why not? I told you this morning we would have it.”
“I do remember that, but I told you I don’t like fish.”
“Yes, but I told you we would have fish. How many times must I tell you?”
How conversations actually are:
“We’re having fish?”
“WE’RE HAVING FISH?!”
“Why do I need to cook every night for all of you who only complain about what I do and how I cook and what people like or don’t in this hot kitchen?”
“That’s not what I…”
“Great, great so you can cook and serve next time and I just won’t worry since whatever goes, great…”
“I didn’t. Whoa, just calm yourself.”
Sometimes conversations are strange!
Have fun with this and feel free to post your dialogues below if you test this writing exercise!