Monday, August 15, 2016

August Writing Challenges: Day 15 - Dialogue Without Words

August. The summer is nearly over. Kids are going back to school. You now have some time on your hands.  Okay, you still have a list of chores a mile long, but let's put writing at the top of the priority list, okay?

I am going to challenge you with a writing prompt every day this month. Are you up for it? I hope so.

The writing challenges will be about a variety of topics and hopefully cause you to dig into your writing toolbox to complete with emotional skill.

Watch out, I just might throw in a fun one, well, just for fun!

For the fifteenth challenge we're going to attempt to write a scene using no words to convey dialogue:

Here is your challenge:

First, write a sentence or two describing the tension you intend to explore between your characters: What does each one want?

Using NO dialogue, in less than three hundred words, let the reader discover something about the relationship between two characters by where we find them, what they are doing, and how they interact with each other.

Use this basic formula:
Reveal character A in a place (setting) doing something (activity). Character B might already be in the scene, or B might enter. Either way, B has a strong need or want - an ISSUE he/she wants to address. B interrupts or engages A, who also has an objective - something he/she is trying to get done, and / or something he/she does or does not want to talk about. This clash of objectives is an important element in the scene.

Focus on selecting and utilizing setting and activity so that your readers discover - because you show them, rather than tell them - something essential about at least one, if not both, of your characters.


This challenge requires you to have setting and action, not something your characters say, communicate to the reader.

This might be frustrating, and give you all kinds of ideas about what you WILL have them say to each other when you have a chance.

Do not tell us what they would be saying. Part of the challenge is to explore how we communicate without words.

I hope you find this challenge enjoyable.

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