Voice in Dialog– Part 4

Here’s the installment of a dialog exercise inspired by The Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich.  The idea is to show character through dialog, as well as practice the subtle are of dialog.  The prompt for Part Four is a conversation between a mother who’s just miscarried, and her small child.

“Mommy, how come you’re crying?”

“Hm?  What was that, sweetie?”

“How come you’re crying, mommy?”

“Oh.  It . . .  it’s nothing, Helen.  Mommy just has something in her eye.”

“When’s Alyssa coming home?”

“Who’s Alyssa, baby?”

“She’s my new baby sister!  You said we were going to have a baby, and it’s gotta be a baby girl, so I named her Alyssa.”

“Well . . . sweetie . . . we actually found out—”

“How come your belly’s not big?  Morgan says babies grow inside tummies, and that’s why mommies look fat.”

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Voice in Dialog– Part 3

Here’s the newest exercise, prompted by Josip Novakovich.  The idea is to portray character through voice, which in turn helps one practice dialog.  The prompt for this is a police officer and a burglar who is pretending to live in the home he’s robbing.  As always, enjoy!


“‘Clear!’ . . . Sorry for startling you, sir, are you all right?”


“The silent alarm to your upstairs window was tripped . . . we came as soon as we could.  My partner’s checking the back now . . .”

“Silent alarm?”

“‘Roberts, I’ve got the resident right here.  Do you need back up?  Over.’”

“So, may I just ask . . . ?”

“‘Copy, Roberts, I’ll stay with the resident.’  Sorry, sir.  Did you hear anything suspicious while at home this evening?”

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Sorry I haven’t been posting this past week.  I came down with a cold, and between that and work I wasn’t in the position to write, let alone edit and post said writing.  But, this Wednesday, we’ll be back on track once more.  Thank you for your patience, and you’ll be seeing another dialog exercise up soon!

Voice in Dialog– Part Two

This is part two of an exercise from Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich.  The idea is to show character through their voice.  The characters in this exercise were formed by this prompt: an evangelist and a philosophical homeless person.

As always, enjoy!

“I can save you.”

“Excuse me?”

“I can save you.”

“From what, exactly?”

“From all the evil, sin, and despair that’s consumed the world and surrounds you.”

“Pretty big claim.  You can do all that?”

“I can show you the way.  I, too, have been saved.”

“How nice.  But I’ll be honest—I’d much rather be shown employment, a supper, and a nice warm bed with a roof over it before the way to be saved.”

“Naturally.  One much care for and nurture the body while it harbors the soul.  We’ve got food and a cot for you.  I can take you there.”

“That sounds an awful lot like temptation, if you ask me.”

“It’s not temptation, it’s an offer to help.”

“Oh, brother . . . are you really a Christian?”

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Voice in Dialog– Part One

After a hiatus from Fiction Writer’s Workshop, by Josip Novakovich, I’ve returned.  This is part one of an exercise to practice with voice and expression of character through dialog.  This exercise started with this prompt: a demented psychologist and a patient.  Enjoy!

“You’re late.”

“Yeah, sorry . . . I got caught in traffic.”

“I thought I told you that if you were going to be late, you needed to call ahead.”

“Yeah, well, I was driving.  It’s illegal to be on your cell in the car.”

“Hm.  So, we’ll have to add a note about your complacency to authority . . .”

“More like complacency to not get arrested.  Why do you think I’m still coming to these things?  If there wasn’t a court order for it, I would’ve ditched awhile ago.”

“. . . and masochistic tendencies as well, I see.”


“Amber, you’re a disturbed girl.  This court order was put in place for your benefit . . . your lying and violent behavior got you into this situation, and your reluctance towards coming to see me shows that you don’t care for you own well-being.”

“Or it could show that I don’t believe I have a problem.”

“Denial, I see . . . I’m going to have to recommend more sessions, it seems . . .”


“Excuse me?”

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