Voice is a vital component of storytelling. The characteristic thought patterns and speech of a character or narrator can be a useful vehicle for conveying meaning. For instance, the old writing adage of “show don’t tell,” can come through in voice: a character use of slang makes it clear she’s British without the writer having to ever state it. Voice can also betray the character to the story’s advantage, as in the way he thinks about his boss or the lack of concern felt for an injured commuter.
Prompt: Tell the story of The Little Mermaid using only one-sided dialogue. Since the title character is mute, it’s up to you to decide how she communicates nonverbally and with whom, and in turn, how that is communicated to the reader through one half of a conversation. Who is she trying to communicate with? The Prince? The Sea Witch? A serving girl or crustacean? This is also a great exercise for practicing conveying elements such as setting through dialogue.
Prompt created for you by:
Willow Loveday Little
Willow is a Canadian writer and poet based in Montreal. She is currently working on the first draft of a speculative fiction manuscript, the second draft of a literary fiction manuscript, and a handful of creative, writing-related projects. Her poetry has appeared in The Dalhousie Review. Start a conversation with her on creative process at @willowloveday or say hello at www.willowloveday.com