Shaking things up here, I’m going to work on some writing exercises through these daily posts. Some will be terrible, many may need structural work, occasionally they will be beautiful. It’s an exercise and I’m doing it to get stronger. Constructive criticism always welcomed.
The exercise today: Write a story that contains ONLY dialogue.
Notes: I cheated, often. First I set a 1,000 word count. I barely made 350. Second it is hard telling the entire scene, feel, intensity with only dialogue. It would have been much easier if I had picked a conversation like they advised, like a fight or a love scene etc. I chose an action scene because I knew I’d want to describe things not using dialogue and I was right. Third you’ll see on some of the adjoiners I definitely muddied the waters by describing more than I probably should have. Whatever, deal with it.
Goal: I was trying to describe two people fleeing and their only exit was a tight cave like setting that unexpectedly drops of to a hollow deep cavern. My main goal was to convey the hysteria a closed space can cause in someone claustrophobic, something I suffer from acutely.
As I said hard, but I like doing these things. What do you do to challenge yourself?
Without further ado my challenge exercise:
“Shhh,” he hissed the sweat beaded on his upper lip splattering onto her face as he spoke. “We have to be quiet. Get on your stomach.”
“No,” she shook her head violently. “I can’t”
“You have to. This or die,” he growled his voice growing too loud in the deafening silence. “Do it!”
“I can’t see.” Her whisper shook with fear. “It’s so close. I can feel it.” Her panicked words rising in hysteria. “I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. It’s crushing me.”
“Move, quicker,” he snapped. “They’re coming.”
“It’s too close. It’s too close. It’s falling on me,” she cried.
“It’s not, shut up, shut up,” he hissed shoving her head into the deep cavern.
“What was that,” she cried out. “I feel feet on me. What was that?”
“Shhh, I can hear them. Stop talking. Wait! Stop moving,” he warned coming to an unearthly still.
“Is that them,” she whispered.
“No, come on. It was the water trickling against the cave walls. Hurry up. Just wiggle on your stomach. It’s the only way through.”
“I can’t. I can’t. I can feel it on me.”
“I know, but we can’t go back. Go fast and you won’t have time to think about it,” he urged.
“Harris, I can’t. It’s closer. It’s too close. I can’t breath,” her words flailed in fright surround by the damp air.
“We’re almost there. Stay with me, baby,” he begged.
“I feel it. I think I feel it,” her words echoed like the darkness around her. “Wait! Its giving. It’s giving. Harris, it’s crumbling. Harris, help, help me,” she cried her voice fading into the distance.
“Melanie,” his scream hurdled toward her cries of help. His face contorted with the air pressure racing by him he called to her, “reach your hand to me. Please, Melanie.”
“Harris, Harris,” her call was weak the force spinning her words away from him. “I don’t want to die.”
“Hold my hand,” he felt the sound of his words bouncing back to him.
“I don’t want to die,” she said as her eyes rolled into her head.
“Stay with me, baby. I don’t either. I don’t either-“ His words drowned in the explosive boom of their bodies hitting the jagged earth.