Only Dialogue Allowed!

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This one was hard! Yep, hard.

I continue to stick with my writing challenge – an attempt to complete the weekly writing lessons offered by Hubert O’Hearn’s Writer’s Pro Shop. This one is on writing dialog and here’s the link for more detail on the exercise: Writer’s Pro Shop, Exercise Three.

The gist of Lesson 3:

Write a 4-character scene using only dialogue. You may not identify the characters. Only the actual conversation can be written down. Each of your four characters must speak 4 to 6 lines or sides of dialogue. Your goal is that a reader knowing nothing of the scene should be able to determine what is happening as well as identify the individual speakers.

Here goes:

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“Does my lipstick look okay? I’m running late. Oh, honey, I have a meeting after work, so you’ll have to handle soccer pick-up.”

“I made you breakfast. You said you wanted breakfast.”

“Oh, yeah, sorry. No time. I gotta go.”

“Who’s gonna pick me up at soccer?”

“I can’t. Really, buddie. I’ve got a crazy schedule today. Someone else will have to chauffeur today. Oh, and I need my dry-cleaning dropped off. Can you coordinate the cleaners with picking him up?”

“I’ll have to check my busy laundry and vacuuming schedule.”

“Don’t get testy with me. It isn’t my fault you were laid off. And this role-reversal thing was your idea.”

“Can you two argue about the dork’s soccer ride somewhere else? I’m on the phone.”

“Don’t call people dorks. And we’re not arguing, just discussing the fact that someone doesn’t care that I’m busting my butt at the office all day.”

“And someone else doesn’t seem to have time for her family anymore.”

“So who’s picking me up? The coach gets mad when he has to drive me.”

“Hello, everyone. I’m still on the phone.”

“Go talk somewhere else, princess dork. You’re not the boss of everyone.”

“I can’t, Your Dorkness. I’m watching T.V. while I talk.”

“Alright, I’m leaving. I’m late and I’m done with this conversation. We’ll talk tonight.”

“Fine. Go to your meeting. And you, I’ll pick you up at five on the dot since I’m doing everything else around here.”

“Never mind. I’ll just ask the coach, and he’ll just yell at me.”

“O. M. G. I’ll call you later. I’ll pick him up, okay. I can’t wait ’til the summer’s over.”

30 thoughts on “Only Dialogue Allowed!

  1. Steven Baird says:

    Great work. The dialogue was crystal clear and very natural. I felt like I was sitting in the kitchen listening to a real conversation.


  2. Erik says:

    I’ll add my “kudos,” as well as saying that the exercise itself was inspiring. I once came across about 10 years of back issues of “Writer’s Digest.” In each issue, a writing contest was presented. Though I could no longer enter to win, I did sit down and complete the tasks anyway. I’ve always loved that kind of restraint-driven, puzzle-like writing exercise. Keeps the mind and skills sharp.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That was good, Diana. The references you added make it easy to followi who was speaking. It sounded natural. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I have to commend you Diane, I’m much too lazy to do stuff like this! Very well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This DOES seem like a tough one. You did a great job! I can see them in my mind’s eye! They are already becoming round characters.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Makes sense to me. A day in the life of a real modern family. You even made the attitude apparent. Nicely done. ☺ Van

    Liked by 1 person

  7. You did a really great job with this challenge and I had no problem at all following what was going on and who it was saying each line. Well done.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Dawn D says:

    Impressive! And all this without using strong accents and the such!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. When I read the prompt, I had to roll my eyes. “That’s impossible!”

    Yet, when I read your dialogue, I was shocked at how effortless you made it all sound. Wow, that was some fine writing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. C.E.Robinson says:

    I got it! Clear as a bell who was saying what….family of four! Like the dialogue too! Could be a typical family scene! Christine

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Carrie Rubin says:

    This is really good. What an interesting exercise. It can be challenging to have a scene between more than two central characters, and I think you pulled it off brilliantly.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I think you did a great job, it reads clear and makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

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