Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writer's Field Trip - Dialogue to Create Power Struggle

Writers need to take field trips to study human behavior. People watching provides story ideas and ways to describe personalities and conflict.

Read a short story by Ernest Hemingway, "Hills Like White Elephants"
and one by Irwin Shaw, "Girls in their Summer Dresses"

Take a notebook with you and spend an hour or two at a sports bar or restaurant.  Notice couples, their interactions on several levels and write their details in body language.

Watch and record:

l.   How do they walk in together?
2.  Notice their approaches to each other and the menu.
3.  Write how they address the wait persons. Use their choices of food to define them or create conflict.
4.  Examine the details of their body language and facial gestures.
5.  Can you imagine what's going on in their conversation just by observing their silent language?

Creative Write:  Design a story or poem entirely in dialogue that involves a power struggle set at a restaurant. Use gestures of hands and arms to show emotions and action. What unpursued current runs underneath your dialogue (see "Elephants")? What relationshp is not spoken?

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