Creative Writing Exercise: An Intriguing Phone Conversation

Creative Writing Exercise: An Intriguing Phone Conversation


This is powerful exercise in creative writing where delegates get to write a phone conversation based on certain limiting criteria. The structured approach to writing helps to make the task more creative and also showcases the power of creative narrative which can make communication more effective and concise.


Create a phone conversation between three people without saying what is stated by the person on the phone.

What You Need

  • Papers


  • Divide the delegates to groups of 3. If you have one or two people left ask each to join a group of 3.
  • Explain to delegates that in this exercise they will be creating a phone conversation taking place between three people; two people on the phone and one person in the room overhearing the conversation. Groups with 4 people should work on a conversation between two people on the phone and two other people present in the room.
  • Consider the following when creating the conversation:
    • The conversation taking place between the two people on the phone must be related to and potentially involve the third (and fourth) person in the room.
    • The third person cannot use the phone to talk directly to the people on the line.
    • Use a conversation to let the readers/listeners know what is said by the person on the line. This is implied in the conversation or interaction between the two people in the room.
    • Aim for a fairly complicated, intriguing and involving conversation; one that can engage an audience and capture their attention.
    • It can only consist of a conversation. There should not be any narration.
    • Aim to write about 600 words.
  • Ask the groups to create their conversations. If needed they can roleplay parts to see what works and what doesn’t. They should record the conversation on paper so they can then read it later for everyone.
  • Allocate 40 minutes for this part. You can optionally allocate more time depending on your training needs.
  • After the allocated time bring everyone back together. Ask each group one by one to roleplay their conversation for others.
  • After each roleplay, ask delegates to comment on the roleplay and the conversation. Encourage them to express what they thought of it in terms of creativity, complexity and expression. In particular, ask them if they could easy follow what was said by the person on the line.
  • Continue until all groups have presented their conversations.
  • Follow with a discussion.


Explaining the Exercise: 5 minutes

Activity: 40 min creating the conversations + (N * 10 min roleplay and feedback) = 70 minutes for 3 groups

Group Feedback: 10 minutes


How did you approach the task? Did you use any systematic method to imply what the person on the line was saying through the conversation which was heard in the room? For example, did you write the entire conversation between the three characters first before modifying it to suit the needs of the exercise? What did you think of the conversations that other groups presented? Which group impressed you the most? What can you learn from their approach? If you had another chance to go through this exercise, what would you do differently?

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