EXERCISE Conversation Settings #1: "Backstories"

Discussion in 'CREATING WORLDS & SETTINGS' started by Minibit, Mar 23, 2016.

  1. In this challenge, I post a conversation with only dialogue, maybe character names and "said" descriptors.

    You decide where the conversation is happening, and incorporate it into the conversation! Here's an example:

    The bare conversation (open)



    “I don’t like lasagna.”
    “You don’t like anything.”
    “I like you.”
    “Barely.”
    Source


    With a setting incorporated (open)

    Jenny made a face at the cheese-covered plate before her.

    “I don’t like lasagna.” she said, picking up a fork and poking at it, resting one elbow on the table.

    In the kitchen, Jake looked at her through the doorway, his eyebrow raised in an amused expression.

    “You don’t like anything," he said, pointing with a sauce-covered spatula in an accusatory gesture.

    “I like you.” Jenny mumbled, reaching for the ketchup.

    Jake gave a chuckle, depositing the spatula in the sink and joining her in the kitchen, his own plate carefully balanced on one hand.

    “Barely," he said, planting a kiss on the top of the blond spitfire's head as he passed.

    When he slid into his seat, her face was as red as the sauce drowning his culinary masterpiece.

    Barely was probably enough.


    Here's today's! All but the last line is courtesy of Lazy Writing Prompts

    “Tragic backstories are overrated.”

    “Then how do I make the audience sympathetic?”

    “Cut off his toes.”

    “What?”

    “He’s walking through town when he’s kidnapped, someone cuts his toes off for trade, and he goes the rest of his life happily even though he has no toes and no one will ever love him.”

    “How is that any better than a tragic backstory?”

    "You're the one asking me for writing advice."
     
  2. Ooh, I like this challenge. Comments/critique welcome!

    ---

    Mr. Laplace tossed the manuscript onto the desk with a huff and crossed his arms on his desk, leaning towards his latest applicant. "Tragic backstories are overrated," he said, waving his hand dismissively.

    Sharon's face fell. "Then how do I make the audience sympathetic?" she asked.

    "Cut off his toes," Mr. Laplace shot back. He mimed scissors in the air with his fingers.

    Sharon's crestfallen expression twisted into confusion. "What?"

    "He's walking through town when he's kidnapped," Mr. Laplace explained, making all sorts of gestures on the desk to pantomime his idea, "someone cuts his toes off for trade, and he goes the rest of his life happily even though he has no toes and no one will ever love him."

    The literary agent was grinning ear to ear, but Sharon was already starting to regret her choice of contact. "How is that better than a tragic backstory?" she said.

    Mr. Laplace shrugged, rolled his eyes, and muttered under his breath, "You're the one asking me for writing advice..."

    Sharon heard every word. It was hard not to in the small office. She glanced at the door leading out into the hallway and started to gather her things as subtly as possible.
     
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  3. Carolyn snorts, rolling her eyes as she folds her arms over her chest. "Tragic backstories are overrated," she sneers, leaning against the wall.

    With a soft groan, Valerie finally plops down on the couch after pacing the room non-stop, tossing the slightly worn, red and black notebook onto the carpeted floor. "Then how do I make the audience sympathetic?" She looks over at her older sister with a slight glare.

    "Cut off his toes," Carolyn replies simply with a light shrug, as if it was the most obvious thing in the world.

    Valerie narrows her eyes. "What?" She huffs, waiting for some sort of clarification.

    Pushing herself off the wall, Carolyn stands up straight and proceeds to do a lap around the couch, holding her hands behind her back. "He’s walking through town when he’s kidnapped, someone cuts his toes off for trade," Her tone was slow and steady, as if she was explaining something to a toddler. "and he goes the rest of his life happily even though he has no toes and no one will ever love him," She leans against the couch with a grin, honestly proud of herself for coming up with such a thing.

    Valerie, however, was not at all amused. She places her head in her hands and shuts her eyes in slight frustration. "How is that any better than a tragic backstory?"

    Carolyn scoffs, "You're the one asking me for writing advice..." she points out, arching an eyebrow upwards. This makes Valerie let out another groan.