The best dialogue writing prompts
One of the secrets to great writing is great dialogue. The inspiration can come from anyone, anywhere: eavesdropping on a conversation at a cafe, reminiscing on a funny exchange with a friend, or watching a heated argument on TV. Our dialogue writing prompts that centre around talking are specfiically designed to help you write great stories.
To get your writing started, here are our top ten dialogue prompts:
- Using only dialogue, write a short story about an argument that gets heated.
- "I'd rather you just tell me."
- Write a story about an argument that seems to be about one thing, but is actually about another.
- Write a story about two strangers chatting while waiting for something.
- "Hey. Someone's on the phone for you."
- Using only dialogue, write a short story about the reveal of a long-hidden secret.
- Start or end your story with someone saying “You’ll never know unless you try.”
- Every day when you get home, you rant to your pet about how awful your day was. One day they start talking back — to give you a dose of tough love.
- Write a conversation that takes place between two people who refuse to say what they mean.
- Write a story about two neighbors talking from their yards, windows, balconies, etc.
If you're looking for more advice, check out these for dialogue writing tips:
- How to Write Believable Dialogue that Develops Plot and Character (free course) — Whether your characters chit-chat or small talk, banter or prattle, drivel or blather, you want their dialogue to sound believable. Our free course teaches you exactly how to achieve this, making dialogue sound like genuine conversations — and not just a speech, or a question and answer session.
- How to Develop Characters (free course) — To write good dialogue, you need to know your characters well. Working of character development, and knowing your interlocutors' personalities inside and out will allowe you to know whether they would take part in witty repartee, or talk absolute claptap. That's where our free course comes in.
Want more help learning how to write a dialogue-driven short story? Check out How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten day course guiding you through the process of short story writing by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
Ready to start writing? Check out Reedsy’s weekly short story contest, for the chance of winning $250! You can also check out our list of writing contests or our directory of literary magazines for more opportunities to submit your story.