Currently viewing the tag: "dialogue"


He liked to start sentences with, okay, so. It was a habit he had picked up from the engineers. He thought it made him sound smarter, thought it made him sound like them, those code geeks, standing by the coffee machine, talking faster than he could think, every word a term of art, every sentence packed with logic, or small insights or a joke. He liked to stand near them, pretending to stir sugar into his coffee, listening in on them as if they were speaking a different language. A language of knowing something, a language of being an expert at something. A language of being something more than an hourly unit. -Charles Yu, Standard Loneliness Package (free to read online at Lightspeed Magazine)

Writing Prompt: Spend some time listening to someone’s speech pattern. Write a poem, scene, or story using their speech pattern.

Journaling Prompt: How do you feel about the way that you speak? If you could change, how would you want to speak different?

Art Prompt: Speaking

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Challenge yourself to include dialogue in your story and to make each of their voices individual through use of speech patterns.

Photo Credit: Sam Cockman on Flickr

Welcome to the Carnival of Creativity for April 15, 2012. All links will open in a new tab or window, so feel free to click through and leave some love in the comments. Once you close that window, you’ll be right back here for more linky goodness.


Here’s a great resource for anyone looking to publish an ebook – a spreadsheet of folks who provide professional services, including cover design and editing.

Sharing Our Work

Eula McLeod’s two loves -baking pies and speeding in her SUV- collide in her story, Carma, posted at View from the Winepress.

Emi Bauer shares her opinion on sharing your opinion In Mixed Company on Confessions of an Incompetent Blogger.

Writing Quote of the Week

My prediction is that, if you sit a million monkeys at a million typewriters for a million years, you’ll just end up with a lot of monkey junk all over your rebuilt Smith-Coronas—that, and a big banana bill. And they won’t change the ribbons as often as they should—if, of course, at all. So—no Shakespeare, no Hemingway— not even Judy Blume. Now, I don’t have the math or the millions— OR the time—to prove this, but I’m going on record here and now anyway: no Shakespeare. And esp. not—if punctuation counts. So, you know—let me know how that works out. —W. Gregory Stewart

Writing Tips and Prompts

Chrys Fey is back with an excellent post on The Very Sentence posted at Write with Fey. Carol Riggs weighs in on the same subject in Hook: The First Line posted at Artzicarol Ramblings.

Charlie Jane Anders shares 10 Books Every Fantasy Author Should Read posted at io9.

Cynthia Morris helps us to Write a Book Even When Clueless at Original Impulse.

Ashley March gives us 5 Dialogue Mistakes You Can Fix Right Now at Fiction Groupie.


Mary Robinette Kowal allows her fellow writers at Writing Excuses to offer editing advice on her novel outline. Interesting process!

Spam of the Week

You respond so some its most exhausting to discourse with you (not that I rattling would want…HaHa). You definitely put a new gyrate on a issue thats been graphic about for eld. Precise nonsensicality, only great!

That’s all for this week. Be sure to submit your article for next week’s Carnival of Creativity by Friday at midnight!

The diary of a psychopath, day 1 (#15/365)

Psychopaths used more conjunctions like “because,” “since” or “so that,” implying that the crime “had to be done” to obtain a particular goal. They used twice as many words relating to physical needs, such as food, sex or money, while non-psychopaths used more words about social needs, including family, religion and spirituality. Unveiling their predatory nature in their own description, the psychopaths often included details of what they had to eat on the day of their crime.

Past as prologue: Psychopaths were more likely to use the past tense, suggesting a detachment from their crimes, say the researchers. They tended to be less fluent in their speech, using more “ums” and “uhs.” The exact reason for this is not clear, but the researchers speculate that the psychopath is trying harder to make a positive impression, needing to use more mental effort to frame the story. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a monologue by a psychopath explaining their crime using the language cues above.

Journaling Prompt: Write about something that you feel guilty about.

Art Prompt: Criminal

Nonfiction / Speech Writing Prompt: Write about the psychopaths that are around us in everyday life.

Photo Credit: Sebastian Anthony on Flickr

figurative spires inquire

Of course everyone agrees with me. I’m always right. Right?

We like to think that others agree with us. It’s called “social projection,” and it helps us validate our beliefs and ourselves. Psychologists have found that we tend to think people who are similar to us in one explicit way — say, religion or lifestyle — will act and believe as we do, and vote as we do. Meanwhile, we exaggerate differences between ourselves and those who are explicitly unlike us.

But what about people whose affiliation is unknown — who can’t easily be placed in either the “in-group” or the “out-group”? A new study finds that we think the silent are also our side. –Science Daily

Writing Prompt: Write a scene between two characters who have just met. Include their internal monologue
about the assumptions they are making about the other person.

Journaling Prompt: Write about how you feel when you find out that someone who you thought agreed with you actually disagrees.

Art Prompt: Mind Reading

Photo Credit: DerrickT on Flickr


The day I get the call that changes my life is a Thursday. -Helen Smith, Alison Wonderland

Writing Prompt: Create a scene or poem using the line above as an inspiration.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a phone call that changed your life.

Art Prompt: Phone Call

Photo Credit: eelke dekker on Flickr

GUANTANAMO BAY, Cuba – Aboard a HUMVEE, Soldiers of the 115th Military Police Company patrol, patrol a dirt road while performing external security duties at Joint Task Force Guantanamo, Feb. 29, 2010. JTF Guantanamo conducts safe, humane, legal and transparent care and custody of detainees, including those convicted by military commission and those ordered released by a court. The JTF conducts intelligence collection, analysis and dissemination for the protection of detainees and personnel working in JTF Guantanamo facilities and in support of the War on Terror. JTF Guantanamo provides support to the Office of Military Commissions, to law enforcement and to war crimes investigations. The JTF conducts planning for and, on order, responds to Caribbean mass migration operations. (JTF Guantanamo photo by Navy Mass Communication Specialist 1st class Marcos T. Hernandez) UNCLASSIFIED – Cleared for public release. For additional information contact JTF Guantanamo PAO 011-5399-3589; DSN 660-3589

When you hear the word “couple” you probably think of romance. But there are all kinds of couples in the world. From the partnerships in the police department to writers and editors, I call these non-romantic couples “odd couples.” Here’s an excerpt from a Rolling Stone essay about war that features an odd couple.

“Shut up, Person,” Colbert says, peering intently at the dust-blown expanse, his M-4 rifle pointed out the window. Colbert and Person get along like an old married couple. Being a rank lower than Colbert, Person can never directly express anger to him, but on occasions when Colbert is too harsh and Person’s feelings are hurt, the driving of the Humvee suddenly becomes erratic. There are sudden turns, and the brakes are hit for no reason. It will happen even in combat situations, with Colbert suddenly in the role of wooing his driver back with retractions and apologies. -Evan Wright, >The Killer Elite

Writing Prompt: Write a scene with an odd couple. Focus on their dialogue and interaction.

Journaling Prompt: Write about a time you were part of an odd couple or about an odd couple that you know.

Art Prompt: Odd Couple

Nonfiction / Speechwriting Prompt: Tell a humorous story about an odd couple you were part of.

Photo Credit: The National Guard on Flickr