Dialogue Exercise – Listening Skills


Our most recent Creative Writing assignment was to practice dialogue. Our goal was to present two characters in conflict, but show the argument only through dialogue and minimum stage direction–more like a play or movie. The best way I could think to show two characters in conflict was a man and woman having a relationship argument, especially since this particular subject is forefront in my mind recently. Needless to say, I was able to write this because it’s an argument I have some experience with.

Let me know what you think.

~ Effy

Listening Skills

Man: Well, that’s just stupid.

Woman: My feelings are stupid?

Man: No, your feelings are fine.

Woman: Then how am I stupid?

Man: There’s just no reason for you to feel that way.

Woman: But I do. Logical or not–according to you–doesn’t change how I feel.

Man: And that’s why it’s stupid.

Woman: Emotions aren’t always logical. That’s why they’re emotions. But emotions aren’t stupid.

Man: Well, they should at least be based on something in reality.

Woman: Just because you don’t think so doesn’t make it that way. It doesn’t make things suddenly fine. It doesn’t make me magically not upset.

Man: Why can’t you accept that they’re illogical and stop feeling that way?

Woman: I can’t just stop feeling.

Man: No, obviously. I mean this feeling. There’s no reason to be upset, because the reason doesn’t really exist like you think it does.

Woman: Why can’t you accept that I have a feeling, and that all I want is for you to acknowledge it?

Man: Really? That’s all this is about? Because believe me, I realize, you have feelings…

Woman: You’re an ass.

Man: …and I realize that feeling is often anger, directed at me.

Woman: You’re not even listening. This is pointless.

Man: What? I just admitted you have feelings. Isn’t that what you wanted?

Woman: I meant that my feelings are okie.

Man: And back to this again.

Woman: I don’t discount your feelings.

Man: I’m not ridiculous about them.

Woman: If you’re upset, even if I don’t know why, I try and help. I certainly never tell you your feelings are stupid.

Man: How am I not helping?

Woman: All you’re doing is arguing that my feelings are stupid.

Man: Oh, for crying out loud.

Woman: You’re impossible. I don’t know why I’m even still talking.

Man: Because you’re still feeling.

Woman: Now you’re just being an ass. You’re not even listening. Why am I still trying to have this conversation with you?

Man: I’m listening. I’m standing right here.

Woman: But you’re not hearing me.

Man: I’ve heard every word. That doesn’t make this conversation make any more sense.

Woman: This is obviously getting nowhere.

Man: Oh, obviously. Not if you completely refuse to see how silly this all is.

Woman: I can’t talk to you right now.

Man: But you’re still upset.

Woman: And I’m only going to get less upset by ending this conversation before I get more upset.

Man: More upset? There was never a reason to be upset in the first place.

Woman: You’re making me upset.

Man: How? By pointing out that this is the most worthless conversation ever?

Woman: Exactly.

Man: That makes no sense.

Woman: Then how about we just leave this at the fact that I’m a completely illogical, emotional wreck? How’s that?

Man: Well, it doesn’t fix anything.

Woman: Oh, well. You can’t fix everything.

(Woman leaves the room.)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

This story and all related material are the original works of Awaiting the Muse and Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti. All rights reserved.
Creative Commons License
Awaiting the Muse by Effy J. Roan AKA Effraeti is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Based on a work at https://awaitingthemuse.wordpress.com/.

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