How to Write Dialogue Without Using Adverbs

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It made a generation fall in love with Gilmore Girls, and almost destroyed Star Wars Episodes 1, 2, and 3.

Dialogue can make or break a story. When it is good, we are joyfully entangled in it. When it is bad, the story can be painful to read.

How to Write Dialogue Without Using Adverbs

To spice it up, we will often turn to descriptors—adjectives and adverbs the convey the emotion we hope the reader will hear. But these “ly” words can break a reader's flow, making our story feel disjointed.

Never fear! There is hope! If we start with a good foundation and sprinkle some action, we can write dialogue that sings.

Here are three steps to crafting vivid, believable dialogue:

Step One: Start with a Firm Foundation

Building dialogue in your story is like building a Lego castle. You do it one brick at a time, and every brick matters. Like Crissle from the Read says, “Words mean things.”

Step one in writing great dialogue is picking the right words.  A red brick in a yellow wall stands out, so we need to make sure the placement of things that catch the eye is intentional. Two sentences that express the same sentiment may carry very different emotional charges depending on how the words are constructed.

For example, let’s say I wanted to ask you how your day was. Here are five ways I might ask, each with a different emotional feel.

“Welcome home. How was work?”

“How’d it go today?”

“Did you survive?”

“So?”

“Well?”

To continue the example, let’s say you wanted to respond back and tell me there was nothing special about the day. Here are five ways you could convey that to me with different emotional tones.

“What do you want me to say? It was work.”

“Nothing to report.”

“I'm not sure what you want me to say. It was just a normal day.”

“You know.”

“Why do you ask?”

A trick to help you decide if you have the right words

During the day, when I'm not writing fiction, I write for a company that simulates difficult conversations. When we (the writing team) are working on dialogue, we will often say to each other, “Put it in your mouth.”

Different phrases will feel different coming off your tongue.

For example, read the five sentences I wrote above. Pay attention to your natural intonation. Did they feel different?

Step Two: Show. Don’t Tell.

Now that we have words we like, to take our dialogue to the next level, let’s sprinkle in some action. Same rule applies—no descriptors. Don’t worry. We don’t need them.

As an example, I’ll take the examples I used above and add actions to them:

“Welcome home. How was work?” he said with a smile.

He greeted her with a hug. “How’d it go today?” he said.

“Did you survive?” he said with a wink.

“So?” he said without looking up from the book he was reading.

He was waiting for her at the door when she arrived. “Well?” he said.

And the responses:

“What do you want me to say? It was work,” she said with a sigh.

“Nothing to report,” she said with her eyes locked on her cell phone.

“I’m not sure what you’re after,” she said, cocking her head to the right. “It was just a normal day.”

“You know,” she said as she kissed his cheek.

“Why do you ask?” she said as she pretended to look for something in her purse.

Step Three: Mix and Match

Often after I've practiced dialogue in this way, I'll mix and match them for fun. It's amazing how a story can be born from one exchange.

“Welcome home. How was work?” he said with a smile.

“I’m not sure what you’re after,” she said, cocking her head to the right. “It was just a normal day.”

Or another:

“So?” he said without looking up from the book he was reading.

“Nothing to report,” she said with her eyes locked on her cell phone.

And one more:

He was waiting for her at the door when she arrived. “Well?” he said.

“Why do you ask?” she said as she pretended to look for something in her purse.

Write Actions, Not Adverbs

We don't need the crutches of “ly” and adjectives to make our dialogue come to life. The right words flavored with a little action will turn simple exchanges into symphonies of emotion and connection.

Readers want to be captivated. All we need to do is pick our brush and begin painting them a picture.

PRACTICE

Take fifteen minutes to create your own two-sentence scene.

Pick a mundane sentence, like “How was your day?” or “Where are you going?” Write the sentence and its response four different ways. Each time, keep the same intention, but change the words so the sentence feels different.

Add a sentence or two of action to each one, then mix and match your exchanges to create a two-sentence scene. When you're finished, share your practice in the comments, and don't forget to leave feedback for your fellow writers!

Jeff Elkins is a writer who lives Baltimore with his wife and five kids. If you enjoy his writing, he'd be honored if you would subscribe to his free monthly newsletter. All subscribers receive a free copy of Jeff's urban fantasy novella "The Window Washing Boy."

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45 Comments

  1. Kitson

    He looked at her, concern in his eyes. “Are you okay?”
    “Yeah, of course. Why’d you ask?” Her voice was tight as she steadily gazed in the opposite direction.

    “Hiya, how’s the world treating you?” he asked with a cheery grin, leaning casually over the back of her chair.
    “‘Hiya’ yourself, smartass. The world still loves me, and you know it,” she said, friendly amusement in her voice.

    “Soo, uh, how was the, um, day?” He said, nervousness clear in the way he skirted around the question.
    She dropped her purse on the desk with a heavy whump. “Fine.”

    “Hey,” he said. Not really a prompt, but she knew better than to go without an answer.
    “Nothing bad, if that’s what you meant,” she grumbled.

    Reply
  2. Member of the Tribe

    Questions:

    “Did you find it?” she whispered as she held her breathe.
    “You got it?” he chuckled through a smirk.
    He yawned and threw his magazine to the side. “So where is it?” he muttered.
    “Do you have it now?” she whined.

    Responses:

    “No dice” he responded while staring at the far wall.
    He searched his mind for an explanation. “Well, no” he reported.
    “I don’t know” she barked in reply.
    “No I don’t” she yelled in protesting response.

    And now for the mix and match:

    “Did you find it?” she whispered as she held her breathe.
    “I don’t know” she barked in reply

    “You got it?” he chuckled through a smirk.
    “No I don’t” she yelled in protesting response..

    He yawned and threw his magazine to the side. “So where is it?” he muttered.
    “No dice” he responded while staring at the far wall.

    “Do you have it now?” she whined.
    He searched his mind for an explanation. “Well, no” he reported.

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      Great job. I really like the “chuckled through a smirk” and the “while staring at the far wall.” They bring intrigue into the give-and-take.

      Reply
      • Member of the Tribe

        Thanks Jeff. I’ve noticed that a lot of times I’m able to be more descriptive if I add one action the character is doing while saying their dialogue. The reader interprets why they’re doing that and that colors the dialogue in your head.

        Reply
    • LilianGardner

      A good dialogue, Member of the Tribe.
      Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
      • Member of the Tribe

        Thanks Lilian

        Reply
  3. Trudi Mckinney

    “What happened at school today?”
    “How was school?”
    “Did everything go as planned?”
    “I see you’re still among the living”
    “Did anyone speak to you at lunch?”

    “Nothing”
    “Fine.”
    “Yes. He has a black eye.”
    “Maybe not.”
    “Why?”

    His mother was waiting for him at the door with eyes as big as jar lids. “What happened at school today?” she asked.
    “Hi Sweetheart. How was school?” she said with a gleam in her eye.
    “Did everything go as planned?” he asked while white knuckling the steering wheel.
    “I see you’re still among the living.” He chuckled.
    “Did anyone speak to you at lunch?” she asked while fixing her eyes on the road.”

    “Nothing” he said while shoving past her.
    “Fine” she replied with a groan.
    “Yes. He has a black eye.” he said while shuffling his feet on the floor of the car.
    “Maybe not.” he said refusing to give eye contact.
    “Why?” he asked in confusion.

    His mother was waiting for him at the door with eyes as big as jar lids. “What happened at school today?” she asked.
    “Why?” he asked in confusion.

    “Did everything go as planned?” he asked while white knuckling the steering wheel.
    “Maybe not.” he said refusing to give eye contact.

    “Did anyone speak to you at lunch?” she asked while fixing her eyes on the road.”
    “Yes. He has a black eye.” he said while shuffling his feet on the floor of the car.

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      Love it. Great job. I think there’s a short story hiding in your last one.

      Reply
      • Trudi Mckinney

        Thanks Jeff,
        What a helpful post today. I enjoyed it.

        Reply
  4. LilianGardner

    I want to meet the challenge, Jeff, so here goes.

    Questions.
    “Let’s take a dip,” Billy said, looking up and down the river.
    “D’yer think it’s safe to take a dip?” he asked.
    “I feel like diving in. How about you?” he asked with a smile.
    “Care to join me for a swim upstream?” he asked, not knowing she was afraid of deep water.

    Answers.
    “I don’t really care to,” Alice said, following his gaze.
    “We don’t really know these waters well enough,” she replied.
    “I don’t know how to dive, Billy. I might not surface,” she said in a small voice.
    “Swimming upstream? Are you crazy?” she said, her voice rising in alarm.

    Combination.
    “Let’s take a dip’, Billy said, looking up and down the river.
    I don’t really care to,” Alice replied, following his gaze.
    “D’yer think it’s safe to take a dip here?” he asked, not quite sure of the deep, still water.
    “We don’t really know these waters,” she said, echoing his thoughts.
    “I feel like diving in, just to cool off a bit. How about you?” he asked, trying to convince her.
    “I don’t know how to dive, Billy. I might not surface,” she said in a hushed voice.
    “Care to join me for a swim upstream? Just for the heck of it,” he asked, not knowing she was afraid of deep water.
    “Swimming upstream? Are you crazy?” she said, her voice rising in alarm, knowing how daredevil he was at times.

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      You totally crushed it. Great stuff. Reading through the combinations, I felt like I was reading a new version of the song “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
      • LilianGardner

        Thanks, Jeff. I’m always trying using adverbs, but the example you gave us, drawing it out step by step, is a real help. Thanks!

        Reply
  5. Joe Volkel

    OK – I’ll give it a try too. Everyone else’s look so good:
    Questions:
    – Can I buy you a drink?
    – How about a cold one?
    – Are you going to have another?
    – What – another drink?
    – Don’t you think you’ve had enough?
    Answers:
    – Sure!
    – Sounds good to me.
    – Welll, – maybe one more.
    – Why not, tomorrow is Saturday.
    – Mind your own business!
    and the finale:
    – “Can I buy you a drink?” I asked shyly, putting on my best smile.
    “Sure, I think I need one about now.” she said, smiling.
    – “How about a nice cold one?” I asked the cute girl in the skimpy dress.
    ” Well – maybe just one.” she giggled.
    – “Are you going to have another?” I asked, hoping that she would say no.
    “She looked up from aiming the Cue Ball “Why not, tomorrow is Saturday!”
    – “What, another drink?” I asked.
    “Hey look, I’m just getting warmed up here.” she said with a loud burp.
    – “Don’t you think you’ve had enough?” I asked as I lifted her up from the floor. “It’s getting late and I am tired!”
    “So leave already, I’ll find someone else to party with.” She gave me of those annoying Cheshire Cat smiles of hers.

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      Nice job. So fun.

      Reply
      • Joe Volkel

        Thanks – It was fun for me.

        Reply
    • LilianGardner

      I like your practise exercise, Joe. I feel and visualise the scene between ‘the characters. There is only one adverb that slipped in…’shyly’.
      Thanks for sharing.

      Reply
      • Joe Volkel

        Thanks for the input. Thinking it over after time, I probably could have written “… I crossed my fingers and put on my best smile.” or something of the sort.

        Reply
  6. Christine

    Questions:
    So where’s Danny?
    Isn’t Danny here, too?
    I thought I heard Danny?
    Have you seen Danny?

    Replies:
    Guess he decided to head home.
    He had more important things to do.
    He was here a minute ago.
    Oh, he’s around somewhere.
    Check out the kitchen.

    Dialogues:

    Hatch’s glance skimmed the room. “So where’s Danny?”
    “He said he had more important things to do than hang out with bores.” Lance said, rolling his eyes.

    “Isn’t Danny here, too?” Hatch set several soft drinks on the coffee table.
    Mike glanced around, perplexed. “He was here a minute ago. Guess he decided to head home.”

    “Have you seen Danny,” Mom said as she hurried into the living room, cell phone in hand.
    Dad wrapped his arm around her and grinned. “Check out the kitchen. You’ll likely find his rear end sticking out the fridge door.”

    “I thought I heard Danny,” Mom said, hunting for the barbecue lighter.
    “Oh, he’s around somewhere.” Vicki said as she grabbed the burgers. “His cell phone rang — and you know lover boy when she calls. ‘Beam me up to worlds of bliss.’ ” She did a pirouette for effect.
    Mom laughed. “Until supper’s sizzling. His teleporter operates on the smell of BBQ burgers.”

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      Love the back and forth. It came out great.

      Reply
      • Christine

        Thanks.

        Reply
    • Susan W A

      Delightful!

      Reply
  7. kath

    Do you think there is ever a place for adverbs or emotion words, or do you think they should always be cut in favor of letting the reader absorb the emotion from painting the scene?

    Reply
    • Jeff Elkins

      I think of them like chocolate. Sometimes they are amazing, but you don’t want to pour them on everything because broccoli and rice doesn’t taste right with chocolate on it. =)

      Reply
      • Joe Volkel

        How about with Salmon and Quinoa?

        Reply
        • Jeff Elkins

          Or scrambled eggs? =)

          Reply
  8. LaCresha Lawson

    I believe that this article means to write a simple dialogue. No need to make it too mysterious for the reader, or too difficult. At least that is what I am getting…

    Reply
  9. Robert Ranck

    My turn:

    “So, how’s your old straw hat?”
    “What happened to you in there?”
    “Everything alright?”
    “Took you long enough. You OK?”
    “And what’s he look like now?”

    “Messed up for sure, almost all used up.”
    “Can’t say for sure – it’ll take a while for me to think this through.”
    “Wreckage. No survivors. Crash and burn.”
    “Depends on what you wanted to get out of it. Let’s go get a cold beer.”
    “Who cares? It means nothing to me any more.”

    “So, how’s your old straw hat?” I asked him our old teenage taunt about each others love-life.
    Draining the last of his tea, he sat straight up in his chair, placed the cup gently and squarely into the middle of the saucer. In a cavalier attitude and a clear voice he replied, “Who cares? It means nothing to me any more.”

    Jeremy marched out of the Commander’s office, his face pale and sweating. “What happened to you in there?” his squad-leader quietly asked after a minute of silence.

    With eyes focused in the famous thousand-yard-stare and irony ringing deep in his voice, he replied in clipped, tense words, “Wreckage. No survivors. Crash and burn.”

    She reached up and wrapped her soft arms around his neck, and drawing her body close against his, murmured into his ear, “Everything alright?”
    The scent of her warm breath fired his desire for her but he disengaged from the embrace far enough to look straight into her eyes, chuckled quietly and told her, “Can’t
    say for sure – it’ll take a while for me to think this through.”

    “Took you long enough. You OK?” Del asked as Miko sat heavily in the seat and gently closed the door.
    After a moment of silence, the younger man gave a long sigh of despair and quietly answered, “Depends on what you wanted to get out of it. Let’s go get a cold beer.”

    After Ray had described the afternoon’s fight, her voice strained with anxiety. “And what’s he look like now?”
    The sorrow and tenderness was unusual in his voice as he gazed off into the twilight haze, “Messed up for sure, almost all used up.”

    This has been an interesting and eye-opening post. Some of the things about dialog have felt kind of instinctive to me, but this little exercise makes some clarity just pop right out. Thanks for the experience.

    Reply
    • Alice Sudlow

      These are awesome. You’ve turned each exchange into a miniature scene, vividly fleshing out the details for me to get a full picture in just a few words.

      The sentence, “The scent of her warm breath fired his desire for her but he disengaged from the embrace far enough to look straight into her eyes, chuckled quietly and told her, “Can’t say for sure – it’ll take a while for me to think this through.”” is full of great detail, but it might be too much detail for one sentence. I’d suggest splitting it into two to make it more easily digestible.

      Any one of these sounds like it could become a full story. I’m most curious about the first and the last, but I think any of these could be rich and full stories. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
      • Robert Ranck

        Somehow the long sentence seemed right to me for the scene. To build to the guy’s “anti-climax” kind of response. I’ve read Hemingway. He’s a terrible influence.

        Reply
  10. Vincent

    Here’s a few different versions of today’s practice.
    (Not edited: )

    1. How was court today? It was okay.

    2. Did you win? No.

    3. Did you make any progress today? Not really, we have another date.

    1. As she entered the room I was full of excitement at the prospect of the court
    outcome, “So how was court today?”
    She looked at me and immediately I realized my excitement
    was misplaced again today. “It was okay, we were rescheduled again.”

    2. Without looking up from my book I asked, “Did you win?”
    The frustration showed in the tremor of her lip and the tenor of her
    voice. “Of course not, we were rescheduled because they didn’t
    show.”

    3. Turning from the kitchen counter I asked, “Did you make an progress today?”
    Looking up with her hands clasped almost as if praying then she looks at me and says, “Are you kidding,this is the most ridiculous process I have ever worked with, two steps forward and three back. It really is a kangaroo court. The clerk gave us another date
    for next month.”

    Reply
  11. Susan W A

    That was fun! Thanks, Jeff. I haven’t written any short stories yet, so this was a good exercise to let me dip my toes into the short story waters without worrying about having a life jacket.
    ___________________
    QUESTIONS:
    What’s up?
    What’s wrong?
    Is something the matter?
    What’s goin’ on?
    __________________
    ANSWERS:
    Not much.
    Nothing!
    Oh, I dunno.
    Well…

    __________________
    DIALOGUES:
    1)
    Felipe dragged his backpack through the front door and into the kitchen. “What’s up, mijo?” His mother’s words caressed his heart.

    “Not much.” Even his lie didn’t believe the words.

    “Come sit down,” she said, patting the chair cushion. “We’ll have conchas y leche and you can tell me about your day.”

    2)
    “What’s wrong?” Jessica asked Edith, concern lingering behind her words.

    “Nothing!” Edith’s response, as usual, was meant to slam shut any opening to communication.

    3)
    Rick stepped closer to Erica, gazed into her hazel eyes, head tilted, and placed his hand on her shoulder.

    “Is something the matter?” he longed to know.

    Erica’s sigh should have released some tension, but seemed instead to add to it. “Oh, I dunno.”

    Exactly, thought Rick, with anticipation of the same ol’ discussion without any resolutions.

    4a)
    Victoria peered over the top of her Scientific American that had just arrived in the mail.

    “What’s goin’ on?” she mumbled as Lance came down the stairs.

    “Well… ,” Lance began, but climate change data was too urgent for Victoria’s attention to be diverted.

    4b)
    Juliette bounded in the room, her floral chiffon dress swirling above her knees.

    “What’s goin’ on?” squealed Sasha, as she flung aside her Vogue.

    “Well…,” Juliette began as she plopped down on the soft cushion next to Sasha; the two linked arms and chattered about the sparkly addition to Juliette’s ring finger.

    Reply
    • Alice Sudlow

      Very well done! There’s so much pent-up tension and angst in several of these, they almost stressed me out to read them. In these short practices, you’ve conveyed a lot of character and given hints at some stories behind these exchanges.

      In the second one, you say, “Edith’s response, as usual, was meant to slam shut any opening to communication.” You might play around with that to tighten it and put it in active voice (removing “was”). I think her shutdown could be more powerful with a more succinct sentence.

      I think you’ve got several short stories hiding in these brief practices. I encourage you to dive in and try writing one! My favorites are 2 and 4a, but I think you can’t go wrong with any of them. Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
      • Susan W A

        Thank you so much for your kind feedback. I agree that the sentence about Edith’s reaction needs work.

        I felt really good about these because I feel, as you did, that they invite a larger story.

        I appreciate your encouragement!

        Reply
  12. Sarojini Pattayat

    “leave me alone.”
    “what for?”
    “I can manage.”
    “okay.”

    Reply
  13. Ken Hughes

    Great advice. One thing I’d add:

    The advice to add description (“beats”, they’re often called) instead of adverbs is a form of Show Don’t Tell. And that means it’s good in principle but worth limiting depending on what’s good for pacing. I like to remember that I really have four options, in increasing detail and effort:

    “That works.” –no tag at all, makes its point or focuses on its words with no distraction.

    ‘”That works,” Ken said. –the Said is nearly as fast, and it’s needed if I’m not positive the paragraph order shows who’s speaking.

    “That works,” Ken said happily –adverbs and such are a lazy way to add just a bit of description, for those limited cases where I’m sure I need some but don’t want much.

    “That works,” and Ken leaned back in his chair with a grin –full description gives much more, if it’s the right moment to use it.

    Reply
    • Susan W A

      Nice examples and descriptions. Thanks for adding.

      Reply
  14. Reagan Colbert

    This is exactly how I write, and is the kind of dialogue always used in my books. So glad it’s the right way! 🙂

    Reply
  15. dgk

    Create a two sentence scene

    1.

    “What should I make for dinner?”

    “I don’t care.”

    2.

    “I have no idea what to make for dinner tonight.”

    “How about some fish for a change?”

    3.

    “What do you feel like for dinner tonight?”

    “You decide.”

    4.

    “Do you want to order dinner in for a change?”

    “That’s a great idea.”

    1.

    Opening the bedroom door without knocking, she found her teen age daughter in a passionate embrace with the boy next door.

    “What should I make for dinner?’ she asked not knowing what else to say.

    “I don’t care!,” she shouted sitting up and straightening her t-shirt.

    2.

    “I have no idea what to make for dinner tonight” he complained as soon as she picked up the phone.

    Glancing at her screen as if to see his image there, she responded with a raised brow snarl and a smart ass tone. 
“How about fish for a change?”

    3.

    “What do you feel like for dinner tonight?” she asked her partner while flipping through a magazine.

    “You. Decide” she answered turning to look at her naked body.

    4.

    “Do you want to order in for a change?” she asked when she saw the take out menus scattered on the kitchen counter.

    “That’s a great idea” he answered handing her the one from The Pizza Kitchen with a red highlighter circling “the works”.

    Reply
  16. Ruth Hochstetler

    “What did you find out?” he asked with caution.
    “We can move ahead!” she said as she clapped her hands.

    “And the verdict is…?” she asked with eyebrows raised.
    “No one would tell me anything” he said as he slammed the application papers onto the counter. “It was very frustrating!”

    “What was the outcome?” she said half asleep.
    “Not much to report” he said as he climbed into bed beside her.

    Anger flashed in her eyes. “What information did you manage to gather?” she said.
    “I didn’t even ask.” He shrugged his shoulders as he took a step back. “It doesn’t matter anyway.”

    Reply
    • Alice Sudlow

      These are great! It’s fun to see so many varied takes on the same concept. In the second one, I’d suggest tightening “she said as she clapped her hands” to “she said, clapping her hands.” It achieves the same point, just a little more quickly. I think you may have some stories hiding in this practice, especially the second and the fourth! Thank you for sharing!

      Reply
    • Susan W A

      Made me curious for more!

      Reply
  17. Stella

    He folded his arms. “I’ll give you one more chance to consider if there’s anything else you want to tell me.”
    She rolled her eyes. “How many times do you want me to say I’m sorry?”

    He tugged at her sleeve. “Aren’t you going to apologise?”
    She sighed. “I regret what happened, but I’m not going to apologise.”

    He looked her straight in the eye. “I think you owe me an apology.”
    She looked puzzled. “For what?”

    He blocked her path out. “Did you forget something?”
    She met his gaze. “Don’t think I did, no.”

    Love this exercise. Incredible how much conflict can be packed into just a two-sentence scene. Thanks for the great post.

    Reply
  18. SecretAngel

    One sentence. Four different ways. Here goes…

    I}
    “Where are you going?” Sera glanced up at the sound of his coat and jingle of keys. Her fingers tangled the chain around her neck.

    Cole’s expression tensed, he held the coat over his shoulder, keys in his other hand. Averting his gaze he reached for the door. “Out.”

    When it slammed, Sera shut her eyes reflexively as though she’d been struck.

    //

    II}
    Sera draped herself agaisnt the door frame, rosebud lips tilted into an easy smile. “Where are you going?” She wrapped long elegant fingers around his tie, closing in on his lips.

    “Out.” Cole said on a breath, capturing her puckered lips in a chaste kiss. Then his hands wrapped her waist and pulled her tight before letting go. With a promise of more, later.

    //

    III}
    “Where are you going?” Cole slammed the folder at their feet. It’s secrets spilled in a wave of white and grey. His eyes fixed her in place. They held a mixture she wouldn’t allow to break her.

    “Out.” Chin raised, meeting him directly, Sera stood tall. No, she wasn’t going to acknowledge the folder. Now he knew. And she already accepted it. He might as well.

    //

    IV}

    Cole broke the lock and glanced out the crack of the door. Empty. Holding his breath he made a tentative step. His bare feet whispered agaisnt the damp floor board. Slowly. He moved his entire body out the room.

    He made to close the door. When it suddenly ripped from his hand.

    Sera stood there. A pistol pressed into his sternum.

    “Where are you going?” She cocked her head, tangled blonde hair fell across her sparkling eyes.

    Cole tensed up, “Out.” and tried to step away only for metal to meet him close, a twisted tango.

    Reply
  19. SecretAngel

    I posted to this too (here is the original)

    One sentence. Four different ways. Here goes…
    I}
    Sera glanced up at the sound of his coat and jingle of keys. Her fingers tangled the chain around her neck.
    “Where are you going?”
    Cole’s held the coat over his shoulder, keys in his other hand. Averting his gaze he reached for the door. “Out.”
    When it slammed, Sera shut her eyes reflexively as though she’d been struck.
    //
    II}
    Sera draped herself agaisnt the door frame, rosebud lips tilted into an easy smile. “Going somewhere?” She wrapped long elegant fingers around his tie, closing in on his lips.
    “Work, honey.” Cole said on a breath, capturing her puckered lips in a chaste kiss. Then his hands wrapped her waist and pulled her tight before letting go. With a promise of more, later.
    //
    III}
    “Going out again tonight?” Cole slammed the folder at their feet. It’s secrets spilled in a wave of white and grey. His eyes fixed her in place. They held a mixture she wouldn’t allow to break her.
    “So what?” Chin raised, meeting him directly, Sera stood tall. No, she wasn’t going to acknowledge the folder. She accepted her fate. He might as well.
    //
    IV}
    Cole broke the lock. Tip-toed out. He made to close the door. When the knob ripped from his hand.
    Sera stood there. A pistol pressed into his sternum.
    “Did you think it’ be that easy, love?” She cocked her head, tangled blonde hair fell across her sparkling eyes.
    Cole tensed up, “Y-yeah, I tried.” and attempted to step away only for metal to meet him close, a twisted tango

    Reply
  20. Valerie Coyle

    I’m brand new here… I notice that the last posts here are from 2 months ago. Is this still active? Is this just because this is a 2 month old lesson? Thanks!

    Reply

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