Thursday, December 04, 2008

Writing Exercise- Strictly Dialogue

This dialogue exercise evolved from a previous one by Luida. It involves writing something that is made up ENTIRELY OF DIALOGUE, but in short story form (NOT MORE than 350 words). That means, you absolutely CANNOT adapt the format of a play (e.g. JUAN: Good morning...). Also, you absolutely CANNOT use speech modifiers (e.g. ...said Juan, Juan said...).

Your piece should be made up entirely of sentences in quotation marks. And your piece must reveal something about the characters, the setting and the conflict/plot only through dialogue. A tip: One way to distinguish each character is to make them sound unique in their lines of dialogue, that way your reader won’t be confused who’s saying what.

Below is my piece, about soldiers trapped in a war.

Defeat and Malaria
(341 words)

“Get up soldier, for Christ’s sake, gather your remaining strengths and belt the enemy until the last round of your ammos!”

“I’d surely fight any day with you sarge, but this damn fever’s creeping in my gut. I’m getting weak with every passing minute, here.. aghh… Do you see my fuckin’ hands? God I’m too damn weak to even raise my rifle… slim chance support will get here. It’s all hopeless sarge, better to be holed up in this damn trench than be butchered above.”

“Do you hear yourself saying that soldier? I can shoot you here right now for uttering that… You used to be a ruthless soldier George, who’ll never think twice to fuck up fear into the enemy’s gut…. think soldier, how many battles we’ve won for home, sure as hell I am not gonna go down here without a fight!... Sam... Go up there and man the machine gun!, Damn mortar rounds are now dropping and the skinnies are inching us by the left flank…Don’t just stand there, maybe this’ll make you… I am not gonna think twice to shoot soldier, so do as you’re ordered!”

“Sarge… Aghh… Sergeant Buck! We’re all gonna die here, I’m telling ya…fighting this stupid war that’s not even ours to fight... we’ve been herded to the slaughter.”

“Get a hold of yourself soldier and fight, support’s gonna be here any minute now so we’ll have to hang on tight.”

“Really sorry sir, but ill just be here and wait for my time as with the others…We’re a brigade when we came here…now we’re reduced to a handful…The enemy was not even upon us then… Aghhh…stupid fever’s eating us one by one…”

“Goddamit soldier, don’t make me shoot you! Do as I say or ill have your head on a platter!”

“This is madness sarge…might as well shoot you to get through your fuckin’ brick head…give me a reason to shoot you… I just want to die in peace, can’t you see that? now go and leave me here to die... please…”

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