Dialogue

An Outsider

The next time you're about to write a long passage of dialogue, show it from the perspective of a stranger watching your characters from afar. The stranger cannot hear what is being said; he can only observe their behaviors, appearances, and actions. You’d be surprised how much you can deduce about two people from just their body language.

Writer's Block

No Vowel

Write a passage without the letter "E" or "A." This is known as a lipogram and has been used by authors in many languages to write their novels. You will use unusual sentence constructions, and it may slow you down for a while, but it will certainly force your brain to work in different ways.

Character Development

Personality Quiz

There are those who believe that there is a science to personality. Out of this belief developed some popular personality tests that are designed to help people learn more about their strengths and weaknesses.

The biggest ones include: Myers Briggs, The Big Five, and the Enneagram Test.

Try taking each of the above tests, but here's the twist: take them as if you were your character. Does it match up to what you had in mind? Do the results reveal anything new or surprising about your character's traits?

Writer's Block

Flowers

Pick one of the following flowers: Camellia, Azalea, Persimmon, Marigold, Holly, Elder, Ulmus, Verbena, Zinnia, Jonquil.
Now locate it in the list below to find out the symbolism behind your flower. Write a short story based around that meaning as a theme. Specifically mention your flower in passing in the story at least once.

  • Azalea: Fragile passion
  • Camellia: My destiny is in your hands
  • Persimmon: Bury me amid nature’s beauty
  • Marigold: Grief
  • Holly: Foresight
  • Elder: Compassion
  • Ulmus: Royalty, age
  • Verbena: Pray for me
  • Zinnia: I mourn your absence
  • Jonquil: Desire
Writer's Block

Pick-Up Line

Cheesy pick-up lines are the worst...but sometimes (when they work), they're the best conversation starters out there. Pick one of the pick-up lines from below and write down a conversation that you can imagine following afterward.

  • “Your smile is like Expelliarmus. Simple but disarming."
  • “Did it hurt? When you fell from heaven?”
  • “Are you a parking ticket? You’ve got fine written all over you.”
  • “Are you from Tennessee? Because your the only ten I see."
  • “If I could rearrange the alphabet, I’d put U and I together."
Character Development

Musicals

Your character’s story has been Disney-fied. At what point in the arc does your protagonist break out into song — and what is that song about?

Character Development

“You”

Second-person point of view is an intimate way of looking at a character’s thoughts. As an exercise, take a scene from the book you’re writing. Choose a character, and then re-write the scene entirely from a second-person POV, noticing what details shift because of this perspective change.

Character Development

Newsworthy

Your protagonist has just made it into a New York Times headline. What does the headline say? Write down the reaction of your protagonist to hearing the news that day.