Dialogue - writercize #AtoZChallenge 3.4

Please note: writercize (a portmanteau of write and exercise with a z for ... a twist? fun? street cred?) is participating in the A to Z Challenge through the month of April with alphabetical writing prompts. I'm skipping the stories behind the prompts so you can spend more time practicing and less time reading! Please participate, and enjoy!

writercize: Pick one of the following pairs (or create your own), and create a dialogue between them.

  • Bride and Maid of Honor - 10 minutes before wedding
  • Homecoming King and Chess Club President - 25th HS class reunion
  • Outgoing and Incoming First Lady - White House moving day
  • Young Child and Grandparent - walking around the block
  • Priest and Rabbi - at a Dalai Lama speech
The locations are mere suggestions. Love a pair, hate the place? Pick your own! Share what works for you!

When writing dialogue, pay close attention to the way people around you speak. Chances are, they are not grammatically proper. Don't force them to be. Use regional dialects, malapropisms, generational verbiage, shortcuts. 

Speak your characters' dialogue aloud to make sure it sounds authentic. Feel free to say "gonna" and "ain't" if that's how your character would speak.

Be aware - authentic dialogue should not match the voice or grammar of the rest of your story. (Unless told in the first person by one of the characters - but even then, the spoken word should be unique compared to the character's inner monologue.)

I love reading your comments and especially your writercize results, so please, drop me a line to let me know if this worked for you! Better yet, share your attempt with the world in your comment! 

Click "read more" for writercizer sample response to a young child and grandmother. 

writercize sample response:

Child: Grandma?
Grandma: Mmmmm?
C: Why do you have spots on your hands?
G: Those are to remind me of all the places the sun kissed me. 
C: Will I have kisses on my hands too?
G: One day. Yes, I think you will. You will be loved by the sun.
C: And the moon and the stars?
G: Sure. Them too.
C: Grandma?
G: Mmmmm?
C: What is that bumpy blue line I can squish on your hand?
G: That's where my blood flows from my heart to my fingers.
C: I like to play with it. I like to push it.
G: Yes, I know. It makes a funny
C: Does it hurt?
G: Nothing you do hurts Grandma, love.
C: Why don't I have a bumpy blue line, Grandma?
G: I don't know. Someday you will. 
C: Oh. 
G: Shall we draw one when we get home? 
C: Yes, please!
(walk a while in silence, smell flowers, pet worms, look at ladybugs, balance on lines and cracks)
C: Grandma?
G: Mmmmmm?
C: I like to walk with you. You walk slow. I like to walk slow. Why do Mommy and Daddy always go so fast? They are too fast.
G: Yes, Mommies and Daddies are fast. I used to be fast too. But I think I like being a slow Grandma best. I like to enjoy the way the flowers smell and see their bright colors. I like to listen to the birds chirp. Most of all, I like to be with you.
C: I love you Grandma!
G: Me too, child. Me too.
(walk a while in silence)
C: Grandma?
G: Mmmmm?
C: Can we hunt for potato bugs? I wanna catch some, and pick them up, and tickle them, and roll them in a ball, and find them a little home and a potato bug family. Can we?
G: Let's start digging!


  1. Great to read, excellently written as usual.


  2. Too much dialogue for my personal taste, but I understand the why of it. You do write well.

  3. Love your theme and the prompts. I'll have to remember this blog when I'm stuck.

    KC @ The Occasional Adventures of a Hermit & Oh Frog It

  4. Hello from the A to Z. I'm so going to do this- what a great site. I'll be back with results and in the meantime I'm going to subscribe via email so I don't miss any prompts! Great to *meet* you!
    A2Z Mommy And What’s In between

  5. Great site. I'm so glad I checked it out. Good luck on the A-Z challenge.

  6. It really does help to speak the dialogue aloud. You catch all sorts of false notes that way. Great example, too.

  7. great tips!
    writing dialogue that sounds believable can be tough
    even some of the greats muff it up!
    i read somewhere once less is more with dialogue, by which i think the person meant we don't always, like u say, use perfect, full sentences
    a simply grunt might say more than an entire paragraph in reply!

  8. Great dialogue tips! But what if the Chess Club president WAS the homecoming king? It could happen, right?

  9. Oh, I like these prompts. *goes off to do the Bride and the Maid of Honor*


I love reading your feedback and your writercize results! Please feel free to leave your website address at the end of your comment. I will delete spam, but welcome writers and bloggers to share their sites with the writercize community.