Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Dialogue Exercises - #3

Happy Hump-Day, good people of the blogosphere! I hope the first half of your week has exceeded expectations and the second half looks promising! Today, we continue with our dialogue exercises! Three more tools to add to your belt to help you on your journey to greatness. Remember, over on INDIE Books Gone Wild, I give a writing class that goes through this and so much more! Grab those pens and notebooks and let's get going!

You can find day one here.
And day two here.

Remember, each of these exercises calls for at least two pages of dialogue.

Exercise #7: Writing telephone dialogue.
Take two of your characters and make them interact over the phone. Stay in one POV. Write both sides of the conversation but omit all hellos and goodbyes. Use assumption to infer what the other character is doing while talking. Make it a heated conversation or put something big at stake. Now go back and write it from the other POV.

Exercise #8: Removing all saids from dialogue.
Write a conversation between two of your characters without using the word said. You may only use actions, thoughts, or observations.

Exercise #9: Killing direct addresses in dialogue.
Go through a passage you've written from above and take out all instances of direct address. Make it work through actions instead.

"John, did you see that UFO just now?" Marsha screamed.
"No, Marsha, I didn't. I was too busy looking at you."
"But, John, we're at an observatory!"
"I know, Marsha. I am observing," said John.

Change to:
"Did you see that UFO just now?" Marsha screamed.
"No, I didn't. I was too busy looking at you." John's face was slack and his eyes bored into her.
She felt her face get hot. "But we're at an observatory!"
"I know. I am observing."

See how much more natural that sounds?

I do hope you take the time to do at least one of the above exercises. Your manuscript will thank you for it later.

Have any of these worked out for you? Are you trying them?

Well, that's all for today, folks! Until next time, WRITE ON!



  1. I especially like the telephone dialogue tip, great post!

    1. Thanks, Heather! A lot of these are fun. I do hope you're giving them a whirl :)


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