Hampton Roads Writers


A young paramedic with a snow-caked beard knelt at her side and directed a penlight at her eyes as she lay gasping on the ground at the river's edge. "Do you know your name?"

  • Who said this and to whom?

  • Where was this line spoken?

  • What time was it?

  • What set the speaker into motion?

  • What might the response be?

  • As you answer these questions, start freewriting a scene. Try to let the dialogue carry the story as it pushes the plot foward.

    AS A CHALLENGE, don't allow your characters to call each other by their names in the dialogue and don't use dialogue tags (he said, John said). Use well crafted beats to orient the reader as to the speakers' identities, to advance the plot, and to develop the characters.


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