Dreamweavers INK Writers Retreat: Second Day

Teaching a class at the Dreamweavers INK Writers Retreat.
Teaching a class at the Dreamweavers INK Writers Retreat.


Today is packed with classes and writing. The weather has cooperated beautifully and added much inspiration to private writing time as we sit outdoors in the sun, breathing in the clear mountain air.

I taught my class–expanded from some posts on character, along with other points from researching the topic. The group’s favorite part was the exercise in writing distinct dialogue. Here it is:

Exercise: The following exercise will help you to learn to make each character’s voice distinct. Choose three characters from the list below. Imagine these three characters are in an elevator when it stops and the lights go out. Write a short scene with only their dialogue–no tags, no action or description.

  • a middle-aged woman, nine months pregnant
  • a teenaged boy, skateboarder
  • a cowboy
  • a four-year-old girl
  • a high-powered lawyer
  • a twelve-year-old girl with a cell phone
  • a rocket scientist
  • a granny
  • a therapist

I find that a lot of writers dread these types of exercises, (I used to be among them) but this one is fun and a great icebreaker. People enjoy sharing what they’ve written, and the point is not lost. Try the exercise yourself and see!

P.J. is continuing her class “Plot It Right the First Time,” which is about to start in a few minutes. Later tonight–s’mores by the fire and open mic night with a twist. Can’t wait!

I’ll be back tomorrow to sum up as we travel home. (Frowning.)

Did you try the exercise? Tell us about it in the comments.

Related posts: What’s the Difference Between Conferences, Workshops, and Retreats?

Dreamweavers INK Writers Retreat: Prep Day

Dreamweavers INK Writers Retreat: Opening Day


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