If that title sounds familiar, thank you. It means you may have read the post I did about two years ago with the same title. I figure two years is long enough for a rerun. If you missed that post or (which I’m sure is more likely) you simply don’t remember that far back, I gave a brainstorming example. Sometimes when I’m stuck on a conversation between characters, I’ll start writing whatever pops into my head until something actually sounds good.
In the book I’m currently working on, two characters named Gabriel and Ruth are reminiscing about a silly dance they used to do when they were kids. Gabriel asks why they stopped doing the dance. These are some of the responses I imagined from Ruth.
“It stopped being about mocking your parents pretty quickly.”
“Was it ever?” Gabriel asked. “I mean, we were just having fun.”
“How many times did we do that when your parents weren’t even in the room?”
“Too many times to count.”
“I’m sure we looked even more ridiculous than your parents.”
“No, I think they looked sillier because they were old and we were fourteen.”
“That dance was always stupid.”
“Stupid fun is the best kind.”
“I still don’t know if they did that just to be mocked or if it was the way they really danced.”
“I don’t think it was either. I think it was a spur of the moment thing. They didn’t care if they got mocked by a couple of kids.”
Which of these responses did I choose? None of the above. I only start listing a bunch of possible lines when I’m really stuck. And sometimes I’m still stuck when I’ve exhausted the list. But... this is only the first draft. There is still hope for better inspiration when I’m editing the scene. It’s early enough that I could even delete this troublesome conversation altogether. I’m hoping for inspiration.