Dialogue Exercises

  1. Many classic movies are remembered for famous lines of dialogue: “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn” (Gone with the Wind); “We’ll always have Paris” (Casablanca); “You talkin’ to me?” (Taxi Driver); “I’m walkin’ here!” (Midnight Cowboy). Make a list of your personal favorite one-liners and think about why you like them so much. Then see if you can replace each one with a line that you think would be better.
  2. You know those conversations you’ve had in your life that you later think of lines you’d wish you’d said? Here’s your chance. Write a conversation you had earlier today, transcribing it as accurately as you can remember. Then rewrite the dialogue, giving yourself better lines. Go back to older, more significant conversations–that guy who dumped you in your favorite restaurant, that boss who fired you before you could tell him off–and rewrite those.
  3. Write a dialogue scene in which a high school teacher questions a student who is suspected of cheating. In your first version of the conversation, the student is guilty. Then rewrite the scene, but this time the student is innocent. Here’s the challenging part: You may change only the tag lines, not any of the dialogue. This will teach you how tag lines alone affect how the reader interprets the dialogue.

These tips came from the course Fundamentals Of Fiction Writing

We’ve condensed the course material from the longer versions of this course, and designed this fast-paced workshop for those students who want to start writing fiction now, or who don’t have the time to commit to a longer workshop. In this accelerated workshop, you can get all the fundamentals you’ll need to start writing short stories, a novel, or anything in between!

You will learn:

  • Develop effective creative writing techniques that can be applied to any long or short fiction form
  • Develop believable characters and let them speak—and act—for themselves
  • Discover the basics of plot—enough to prepare you to tackle any kind of fiction project.

Learn More About Fundamentals of Fiction Writing Today!

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