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I decided to organize a weekly creative writing exercise in the office to sharpen the skills of the writing pool. Everyone takes a turn inventing an exercise or a prompt.

The only general rule we've been using is that it should be doable in an hour or so. We've also tried to keep things fun.



Please feel free to share your own exercise efforts by leaving a comment. You can do that at the end of each exercise by clicking on 'Share your own effort'. Enjoy!



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Dialogue 3
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Poetic Confession
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Five Random Words
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4.12.08
Exercise 45 - Strictly Dialogue

From Guile, this week's exercise host:

 

This dialogue exercise evolved from a previous one by Luida. It involves writing something that is made up ENTIRELY OF DIALOGUE, but in short story form (NOT MORE than 350 words). That means, you absolutely CANNOT adapt the format of a play (e.g. JUAN: Good morning...). Also, you absolutely CANNOT use speech modifiers (e.g. ...said Juan, Juan said...). Your piece should be made up entirely of sentences in quotation marks. And your piece must reveal something about the characters, the setting and the conflict/plot only through dialogue. A tip: One way to distinguish each character is to make them sound unique in their lines of dialogue, that way your reader won’t be confused who’s saying what. Here's an example:

 

 

After Dinner

(312 words)

 

"Need help?"

"Sure, sweetie. Grab some of that and put them on this tray. Then put mayo on top of each one. Don't pick the burned ones."

"Okay. So, what do you think?"

"About what, dear?"

"Come on, you know what I'm talking about."

"You mean, what do I think about that schmuck sitting on our dinner table back there?"

"Mom! He's a nice guy."

"You said the same thing about the last guy you brought here. And look what that jerk did."

"That was different. I was young then. I didn't know any better."

"And I supposed you're older and wiser now? Tell me, have you ever thought about what you're getting yourself into? I mean, just look at him! God, what will the neighbors think? And your Dad--how am I ever gonna tell him we raised a doofus with the worst taste in men in the universe?"

"Will you keep your voice down? He might hear you."

"I doubt it. Done with that? Get more from the fridge. And some mayo, too, this one's almost empty."

"Could you hand me that other tray? Thanks. Look, Mom, I know he doesn't look like it but he's a great guy. Once you get to know him, beneath all that arty stuff, you'll like him. I know you've got some kind of phobia about people with alternative means of livelihood, but believe me, this one's different. He's actually opening his own tattoo shop next summer."

"Oh, I'm absolutely jumping with joy hearing that."

"Mom, please, I could use a little support here. I'll deal with Dad but I need you on my side on this."

"Whatever. Here, you take that while I take this one. Careful with that."

"Wait. How do I look with this on?"

"Disturbing."

"Thanks."

"Gotta hand it to you, though. His folks are filthy rich."

"Mom!"

 

Be creative. You can use any genre (horror, comedy, sci-fi, detective, fantasy, etc.). Remember, not more than 350 words.

 

Below is what I came up with:

 

 

“These chairs can’t stay still.”

“They’re meant to do that.  They’re called swivel chairs.”

“I’m guessing that’s so you can turn to your seatmates for more intimacy.  Hi, I’m Michelle.”

“Sherwin, nice to meet you.”

“So? Aren’t you gonna ask me if I come here often?”

“Actually, I was…”

“So ask me already.”

“Ok.  Do you come here often?”

“No, this is my first time here.  And I’m thinking I should if you come here often yourself.”

“Thank you, I guess.”

“You can thank me by buying me a drink.  Sorry, maybe that was too forward of me. ”

“Not at all?”

“Listen, this place is swell and the food smells great but I live nearby.  Maybe you’d like to crash at my place for a little party, just you and me.  What do you say to that?”

“Excuse me?”

“You heard me.  Good times, but a little more private.  So how about it, cowboy?”

“Tempting offer but I really was just about to leave.  Paid for my tab already.  Busy day for me tomorrow.”

“Aw, too bad.  Are you sure you want to pass this up?”

“I’m afraid so.  Hope you don’t take offense.”

“You’re so proper.”

“I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“Ok, here’s the thing.  My name really isn’t Michelle.  And I don’t really live in the neighborhood.  I’m from the university and we’re doing this psychology experiment about flirting.  Behind me on the table over there is my associate with a video camera and right here in my bag, is a tape recorder.”

“A psychology test?”

“Yes, we’re conducting experiments on how males respond to ostentatious flirtation from females.  And let me just say that you’re our first test subject that hasn’t responded positively to my invitations.”

“Sorry to disappoint you.”

“Actually no.  For everybody else we tested, it was all so predictable.  So tell me, am I not your type?”

“You’re actually hot.”

“Ouch!  But not hot enough for you?”

“Actually, I’m gay.”

 


Posted at 04:20 pm by bisoy

 

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