On Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 51

I’ve got a series of short prompts for you over the next several weeks, many of which could potentially be first lines. This week’s prompt is:

“I can’t do this anymore.”

On Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 26

I’m super excited for tonight’s Writing Dialogue Workshop, which is going to be a blast, so this week’s writing prompt was of course inspired by it. If you’d like to attend, you can still sign up via the Events page.

Try telling your story in an epistolary (letter-writing) style such as in parts of The Color Purple or the exchange of emails in Love, Simon or write your piece as a series of journal entries à la Dracula. This will give you practice adopting a more informal or conversational tone, which can help with writing dialogue or serve as an alternative to dialogue for those who prefer to write mostly narrative. It also allows you to get inside your characters’ heads to figure out their personalities and how they communicate. Have fun!

On Writing, Writing Prompts

Writing Prompt 22

Don’t Speak

This week’s writing prompt is taken from my upcoming workshop on writing dialogue and is directed specifically toward those of you who feel that your characters sound too much like you or for those who struggle with making their characters’ voices distinct.

Make a list of words, phrases, and expressions that you personally use often and/or ones you find yourself ascribing to your characters too often. Include exclamations and terms of endearment that you might have for your friends or family or your pets as well as things like your favorite (or most often used) swear words. Let this be the start of a list of things that your characters are not allowed to say unless they are or are meant to be like you.