We’re changing tack today: writing in dialogue!
Write a story containing only dialogue
- You can write this in play format if you like, using each speaker’s name at the beginning of the line, but I would discourage you from using stage directions.
- Try to convey everything from emotion to movement the setting in the characters’ words alone.
- If you’re not using play formatting, limit the story to a dialogue between two characters, to keep things straightforward.
- You could use the two characters you’ve been working on for the past two days since you already have their voices and a sense of who they are. Put them in a room together and see what happens!
- As well as conveying setting, emotion and movement through words, concentrate on making each speaker sound different. If one is witty and speaks in one-liners, let the other be long-winded and speak in complex phrases with sub-clauses.
- You can vary these rhythms throughout the story for each character. On character could start relaxed — using relaxed language rhythms — and become gradually more upset — using short choppy language, while the other one goes the other way. Or you could let one character go through a bell curve of these rhythms: starting upset, getting more relaxed, getting upset again; or vice versa.
- A good way into a story like this is to have two characters discussing something, having an argument, or needing to reach a decision about something. Each should have a slightly opposing view. It can be more powerful emotionally if the two characters actually like each other and want there to be no conflicts between them.
- You can resolve the story, or one character can storm off leaving everyone shouting “Where you going?” It’s entirely up to you.
Leave a comment to let us know how this went. Was it easy? Did it feel almost-impossible? Did your dialogue sound realistic?