5th November 2021
2 min read
5th January 2022

Develop conversation between your characters with this writing exercise from Linda Strachan's Guide to Writing for Children and YA

Guide to Writing for Children & YA

One of the most important parts of a story is the dialogue. How your characters speak, the rhythm of their speech and how they interact with each other tells more about who they are and what they think than almost anything else.

This writing exercise will help you to develop conversation between two of your characters.

Writing Exercise: Duologue

Take two characters and write the dialogue between them when one suspects the other of keeping a secret.

Think about who they are and how they would feel in this situation. Is the secret something dreadful or a nice surprise? How does the discussion or argument end? When you have finished, try reading it aloud; if you can, persuade someone else to read one of the characters.

Consider how different each person sounds with regard to the cadence of their speech or the way they use words to express their emotional state. If you close your eyes and listen to two people in a conversation, you can tell them apart because they will both sound different.

Make sure your characters do too.


Linda Strachan is the author of over 70 books. She writes for a wide range from picture books to Young Adult novels. These include the bestselling Hamish McHaggis series and award-winning Spider, Dead Boy Talking and Don’t Judge Me. Linda is a former Chair of the Society of Authors in Scotland and an experienced creative writing tutor.

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