Dialogue is action, and action is dialogue.

IMG_7198This is a writing challenge. If you strip away all of the exposition, what do you have left? Does your dialogue stand on it’s own? I took this scene from a novel I’m working on, and stripped away the exposition. I found it to be a fun exercise.


“Okay class let’s change the subject. Everyone let’s get our math hats on. Who can answer what 3×3 is.”

“It’s 3+3+3.”

“Good. Tom?”

“I don’t get it, Mrs. Shostakovitch.”

“What don’t you get?”

“It’s nine.”

“Yes it is, but that’s the wrong answer. Can anyone help Tom with number families?

“Three groups of three ones.”

“One group of nine ones. That’s my favorite answer. Better get with it Tom.”

“Very funny Jeremy.”





“But that’s not the answer. It’s 9.”


“Absolutely right. The answer is everything, but what someone would logically conclude.”

“This is maddening. What universe am I in?”

“Well let’s ask that question.”

“Yes Maizy.”

“The name of our solar system is Solar System. There are eight planets in the solar system: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. The four inner solar system planets Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars fall under the category of terrestrial planets, while the outer four. Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune are the gas and ice giants. That makes 9-1 planets that orbit around our star. Pluto is not a planet unlike what some people think.

“Just shut up, Maizy.”

“Good Maizy. Now that Tom knows what universe he lives in. It’s time for him explore the principal’s office for using bad words.”

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