Fun With Dialogue

[I wrote this with my friend Clarissa in our Creative Writing class to practice integrating dialogue correctly.]

“Hello,” said Ms. Madison, startled to see her student Jeffrey outside class.

“Hello,” said Jeffrey. He wasn’t used to seeing his teachers outside school, especially at 11:00 on a Saturday night.

“Well,” Ms. Madison said, awkwardly standing up straight and folding her arms across her body.

She looked around awkwardly as Jeffrey responded “Well, what?”

Ms. Madison glanced behind him and saw Jeffrey’s friends checking out her coworkers. “How did you guys get in?” she asked.

Jeffrey shrugged, fingering the fake ID in his pocket. “There isn’t really anything else to do in this town on a Friday night.”

“Still,” his teacher said. “I didn’t expect to find you here.”

“Sure tells us something about each other doesn’t it?” He said as she returned to the stage.

She turned her head and said, “What’s that supposed to mean?”

He looked around at the strippers on the poles and gestured to her lack of clothing. “Oh come on!”

5 responses to “Fun With Dialogue

  1. Very good, but your description of the situation is relatively much more than the quoted dialogue and I see this as slowing the pace of the story.

  2. I know, that’s because we didn’t write the dialogue. Every line except “how did you guys get in” and “there really isn’t anything else to do on a Friday night” was given to us, and we had to use the dialogue and add as much to the story as we wanted, but we couldn’t take anything away.

  3. I think you have a point. In such a situation, I think, It would be nice to describe the situation first, and against that backdrop have a faster paced dialogue. Here is my try:

    Jeffery and his friends had entered the club with fake IDs, and since he had hardly ever seen his teacher, Ms. Madison, outside the class, now running into each other there at 11.00 on a Saturday night was absolutely unexpected and startling.

    “Well,” said Ms. Madison with her arms folded.

    “Well, what?” Jeffery said.

    Ms. Madison noticed that Jeffery’s friends where checking out her coworker.

    “How did you guys get in?” she asked.

    “There isn’t really any thing to do in this town on Saturday nights.”

    “Still, I did not expect to find here.”

    “Sure,” said Jeffery, a faint smile showing on his lips, “it tells us something about each other, doesn’t it?”

    “What’s that suppose to mean?”

    “Oh, come on!” he said looking round at the naked strippers on the poles.

    • ah, interesting! What we tried to do, though, was save the situation till the end, as kind of an unexpected reveal, leaving the reader wondering why things were so awkward for these characters.

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