Weekly Writing Prompts: #11

Writing realistic dialogue can be tricky. It might sound fine in your head but when you read it aloud you realise your characters have become as lifeless and flat as a piece of cardboard.

So the next time you’re out and about try this easy exercise for instant dialogue success.

Open your ears.

weekly writing prompts_dialogue
This weekly writing prompt challenges you to use people-watching/listening to kickstart your writing.
Image Credit: StreetFly JZ Photography, Creative Commons.

Listen to those around you, not just what they’re saying but the inflections of their words, when they pause, when they break their sentence off. Listening to realistic speech and being aware of how it’s constructed means that when you write a character’s dialogue their voice will be authentic.


Keep an eye (or an ear) out for interesting lines of dialogue throughout your day and write them down so you don’t forget. Choose one or two sentences and work them into a story.

This writing prompt allows you to create new dialogue around your chosen speech, as well as build up an arsenal of ready-to-use lines that you can slip into any story.

We’ve got even more writing prompts to practice with! Check them out if you’re up for a challenge.

Kyra Thomsen

Kyra is a writer and editor from Wollongong. She works full-time as a content writer while reading on the train and drafting short fiction stories in her spare time. Kyra won the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and has been published in Kindling, Seizure Online, Space Place & Culture and Tide. She enjoys admiring her bookshelves, watching cheesy shows on Netflix, and browsing her Tumblr. You can learn more about Kyra's previous publications, plus find fortnightly posts, on her website: kyrathomsen.com.

Recent Posts