Dialogue Exercise

-construct a piece using only dialogue
-make it creative non-fiction

“I think I should put you in bed, Sophie.”

“But Simone! You can’t go to sleep in the middle of a tea party, you just can’t. And also I think you forgot, but my name isn’t Sophie it’s Prince Fred and besides, you can’t leave the castle unless I let down the gate over the moat and the moat has water-dragons in it so I don’t think you should swim across it. You should probably just wait until I let down the gate—this is the moat here, all the way to the end of this hallway (I can stand in it because I feed the water-dragons so they know that if they eat me they won’t get any more food even if they get to eat me because they’ll get even more food if they don’t eat me) and this room is the castle and I’ll pretend I’m letting down the gate when I go like this.”

“Okay Soph—Prince Fred. I shan’t cross your moat lest I be eaten, but could you please let down your gate. It is two hours past your bedtime and I fear the king and queen may be back at any minute.”

“The king and queen, the king and queen! A ring and a bean, the king and the queen!”

“Prince Fred. Do you want to be in trouble with the king and queen?”

“I’m never in trouble because my mom and my dad like me too much so they are always taking my side.”

“Oh really.”

“Yes. Sometimes I even just pretend to be asleep when they come check on me and then when they leave I make a fort with my blankets and think about a lot of things.”

“You make a fort with your blankets?”

“Yes, I do, and sometimes I take my little flashlight that’s on my keychain and read and sometimes I just make shadow puppets but that’s sort of hard because I have to hold the keychain like this with one hand and then I can’t make eagles because I need both hands to make eagles and eagles are my favorite because you can pretend they’re flying when you go like this. See?”

“I see. So maybe we can go to your room and set up a fort so that you can make shadow puppets and I can hold the flashlight for you.”

“What a great idea! And then I can show you all my special blankets and the quilt that me and my mom are making and I get to pick out the squares of fabric and she sews them on. It’s really neat.”

“That does sound neat. Okay, you go brush your teeth while I put these teacups away, alright? Can you brush your teeth on your own?”

“Yes but maybe you should help me put the toothpaste on because sometimes I put too much and then my mouth gets really foamy and my dad tells me I look like a mad dog.”

“Okay. You get everything ready and change into your pajamas and I’ll be right there, sound good?”

(This is unfinished but I’m going to stop here…sorry I got a bit carried away. Please don’t feel obligated to write a piece this long. Good luck and have fun!)

Syllabus Update

I’ve added the reading for Thursday, Tuesday and next Wednesday to the unit overview. Make sure you consult the unit plan itself for details.

Also, I will be giving you a fun assignment over break having to do with stranger studies spun into 200-word flash fictions, and some reading. I’ll post the fiction syllabus next week.



I’ve just added a new PAGE— see the new tab above.  I will post the audio files from your presentations a day or so after you present.  Enjoy listening to yourselves!

Exercise: On Storms

Here are the rules:

1. Use a second-person narrator

2. Use 150 words

3. Use the following words: bones, glint, forge, salt

4. Title it “On Storms”

5. Make it creative nonfiction

6. Go…

stethoscopes (100 words exercise)

I love the feeling of a stethoscope pressed against my chest, breathing in, breathing out. When I was younger I wondered what the doctor could be listening for inside the hollows and nooks of my body. I’m not sure I dared to imagine. Even in a doctor’s office, I found it soothing: the gentle pressing and inhaling, exhaling and pressing again– covering my chest and then my back, my abdomen. Then the weight of the stethoscope being knocked under my knee-cap as I watched my leg pull itself awake. The weight eased around my body and the cold metal felt quiet.

Looking Ahead to Creative Nonfiction

Take a look at UNIT TWO and be ready to ask questions on Thursday.