Practice writing dialogue

Continuing with the theme of writing dialogue, today I want to have a go at writing snippets of conversation between two characters, using this to convey how they feel about each other.

In my novel, the protagonist is Annabella. There are two key male characters: Zikmund (who hates her) and Gorg (who she falls in love with). I will give these characters a topic and write them some dialogue to convey firstly hatred and then love – without stating the emotion explicitly. My topic will be the replacing of the town well with a monument and fountain.


You can try this yourself with your own characters. You can choose any topic – even the weather.


Here goes:


heart-of-loveAnnabella and Zikmund (here represented as A and Z): LOVE

Z: I know it hasn’t been long since the accident, but did you hear the council have plans to change the well? They’re going to replace it with a fountain monument.

A: A monument to Martin? How can they think of making changes now, it’s too soon. Please, I don’t want to think about it, let’s take a walk.

Z: I’m sorry I’ve upset you, but it’ll be safer this way. I thought you’d be pleased. I don’t want to sadden you. Of course we’ll walk, anywhere you like.

A: The gardens are beautiful right now and quite secluded in some parts. I know of a spot amongst the climbing roses where we can kiss unnoticed.

Z: Seclusion and kissing – what more could I ask for. Give me two minutes to grab a handkerchief.

A: Oh, I’m so busy thinking about my own pleasures and totally forgot about your hay fever. Don’t worry, we’ll go elsewhere. Plus I don’t think you’d be much fun to kiss if you’re sneezing all over me!


Annabella and Zikmund: HATE

Z: Did you hear the council have plans to change the well? They plan to replace it with a fountain monument.

A: That will safeguard against any similar accidents.

Z: What, are you planning on driving more of your patients to kill themselves?

A: I had nothing to do with Martin’s death, but I should know better than to expect you to understand the complexities of human health.

Z: I understand enough to know a witch when I see one.

A: And I a bigot. I think we’re done here.


Annabella and Gorg (here represented as A and G): LOVE

G: I hear there are plans to change the well into a fountain. I know it hasn’t been long since Martin’s death, but I do think this will make the square safer.

A: You may be right. Poor Martin, I still can’t believe what happened. I don’t want to think about it, let’s take a walk.

G: Of course we’ll walk. How about the gardens, I know you love the flowers we planted by the lake. But you know Martin’s death wasn’t your fault, right?

A: I know that, not that it matters. I just wish he were still here. Perhaps the lake is not the best idea right now. Could show me you latest plantings?

G: Actually I’ve been working in the orchard. Let’s go there, it’s secluded enough that we can walk arm in arm and feed each other sweet fruits.

A: Mmm, sounds delicious!


hateAnnabella and Gorg: HATE

G: The well is to be made into a fountain.

A: Why are you telling me this? Why are you even talking to me?

G: Thought you’d want to know, you were involved with Martin after all.

A: Do you have any idea how insensitive you are? And I wasn’t ‘involved’ with Martin. He was my patient.

G: And now he’s dead. Coincidence or just bad luck?

A: What do you think? Oh that’s right, you’re just a gardener, thinking is not really your thing, is it!


Ok, so I know it is brief and it was a very quick writing activity, but I found emotions leaning toward hatred are much easier to write! Have a go and let me know what you think. REMEMBER: as with all writing activities, the aim is to have a go without self-censoring or negatively judging your efforts. If you decide to use your snippets of dialogue, you can re-work and edit them later. Have fun!


Photo credit: heart

Photo credit: hate

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