Elements of the Writing Craft. Part Two: Character, Lesson Forty-Four: Moving into Dialogue

Ref: Pages 54 and 55 of the text by Robert Olmstead

  1. List five sentences that could describe a voice speaking and follow each with a line of dialogue.

Madilynn heard footfalls and the door creak open, her voice was silky and inviting. “Hello there, make yourself comfortable, I’ll be with you shortly.”

Beatrice flinched at the sound of boots outside her door. She shouted, her voice harsh, her words clipped. “What is it now?”

Carn thump down his mug onto the table and boomed out a laugh. His voice filled the hall and demand the attention of those who heard it. “Another round and more of these fried potatoes!”

Eoghan hesitated before entering the throne room. He chose his word ahead of time in an attempt to quell his stutter. “G-Good Morning your Majesty,” he said forcing himself not to retreat from eye contact.

Elsie whispered in his ear, her voice calm and soothing, “Don’t go it alone Eoghan, next time the darkness comes for you, take me with you. We’ll fight it together.”

  1. List five actions that call on a character to speak and follow each with a line of dialogue.

Beatrice stood on the balcony railing her toes over the edge. Carn knew better than to be baited into this trick but still, he said, “Bea… I need you to come back to me. Please step down.”

Elsie teared up when she saw the marks on Eoghan’s chest and stomach. “You promised me you would tell me when it got bad. You promised!”

Madilynn snapped out a clean towel and wiped the rim of Carn’s favorite flagon. “Hi there, sailor. The usual?” She tilted her head and gave him a winsome smile.

Beatrice leaned against the wall beside her son’s crib. He was crying again. “Uhg, will you ever be quiet? Is this my fate to forever listen to your moaning?”

Carn placed his hand on Beatrice’s shoulder and gave it a gentle squeeze. “I think he might be hungry,” said Carn. “Of course you would think that, do you ever have a thought otherwise.” Beatrice shot back at him. “That’s uncalled for.” Carn clenched his jaw and lifted his son from his crib and pressed him to his chest.

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