Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Conversation prompts

Last week I told you I'd be providing you with a series of writing prompts over the next few weeks. Today is  the second set of those prompts. Remember, the main focus here is practice. So, to that end...

1. Determine how much time each week you wish to set for practice (remember, musicians and athletes practice for several hours A DAY; serious writers should consider following their example).

2. Choose one prompt as a 5-10 minute warm-up write. Use this time to relax and get your head in the writing game, so to speak.

3. Choose a second prompt for a longer writing, 30-45 minutes. Tie the prompt to a work in progress or start fresh. Be cognitive of the choices you're making as you're writing. Note the techniques you use, the sentence structure, the arrangement of words.

4. Reflect. This is the step we most often ignore and yet it's the step where the learning takes place. After you've done both writings, take another 10 minutes and, in writing, record what you did, how you did it, what you learned, what you need to change either in your process or your writing. Don't skip this step!

Remember, every artist needs to hone his/her skills. Use these prompts to hone yours.

This week's prompts are centered around conversation. As you write, let the dialogue take center stage so that we learn the story through what they say. Click here for an example.


  • A couple ready to move to the next stage of their relationship. She's submissive, but can't figure out how to tell him she wants to be tied up during sex, he's dominant, but is worried if he tells her he likes to tie women up and make love to them that she'll run into the night screaming.
  • An older man sees something strange on his daily walk around the neighborhood and tries to tell a local cop what he saw. You determine what he saw (you'll also need to determine the type of neighborhood and let that come out in the dialogue as well).
  • Two construction workers framing a house. Equally competent, yet something doesn't turn out right.  Either it stays as is or they tear the house down and start again. Now they need to figure out how to tell the homeowner.
  • Two runners jogging along a well-used path discover a body. They both know the dead person and neither of them like him/her.
Get writing and feel free to drop a tip in the jar!



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