One minute play festivals, English assignment help

You’re going to practice writing a one-minute play. Yes, YOU are the director, playwright and producer!

Here are your tasks:

1) Spend some time with the website of the one-minute play festival found here: — check out some of the links to the one-minute plays that are featured in the festival. What do you notice? Another possiblity is to look up “one-minute plays” on YouTube and see what you find.

2) Now, write your own one-minute play using no fewer than two characters. Be sure to include pertinent stage directions.

3) Have fun! Don’t worry about writing a master piece. Just work on putting together a one-page or one-minute play that features a couple worthwhile characters who have something to say! You’re free to take complete liberty with this assignment.

4) Check out the “dialogue tips”

5) Share your play with us!

Dialogue Tips


When it comes to fiction or drama, dialogue is several things:

1. A conversation between two or more people.

2. Conversation between characters in a drama or narrative.

3. The lines or passages in a script that are intended to be spoken.

4. A literary work written in the form of a conversation

In this week’s assignment, you’re interested in writing a dialogue between several people.

In other words, you get to choose the characters in your play and how many characters you

want. Who knows, maybe you even feature yourself in the play! 🙂


1. Dialogue needs to have a point. It has to move the story along, reflect a character’s

inner character and conflicts, expose secrets, goals, and wounds. Often in dialogue,

it’s what’s not said that’s important.

2. Contains differing points of view. When two people are conversing, their dialogue

needs to reflect their characters and show they are at odds, with totally different

motivations. This is what makes dialogue interesting.

3. Has more content that ordinary conversation. It’s all about context. Use juicy verbs,

edit superfluous words and keep sentences simple. Reveal complex characters with

simplicity. Again, often what’s not said that is most important and revealing. Most

“real” speech contains fragments, “ums” and idioms. Don’t include those. Don’t have

your character say something unless it’s pertinent to the story or the character.

4. Avoid monologues. This is as true in dialogue as in life. Readers will get bored.

Break long bouts of dialogue with some action. Get a character to pour tea or clean

out an ear. This comes back to #1.

5. Show a character’s lack of self-understanding in his/her dialogue. Dig into the

subtext of the dialogue and try to figure out what it is that you as the author knows,

but that the character doesn’t know about him/herself.

6. Don’t try and explain things in dialogue. None of us like listening to the “know-it-all”

person who has to explain everything along the way. Don’t let your dialogue or

characters be that person (unless that is their character). Let the reader have some

fun and try and figure it out by themselves.

7. Use dialogue to create tension. Dialogue is a great way to show characters in

crisis, which in turns shows a character’s true colors. There are several ways to

create tension in writing, and dialogue is one of the better ones.

8. Mix up the speech patterns to differentiate characters. One character might talk in

long sentences, another in one-word answers. Listen to people around you and try

and pick up ideas for differing the ways people speak in dialogue. This will make

your overall text more interesting to read.

9. Study the rhythms and repetitions of authors you admire. The best often repeat

words or sounds, and use rhythms and patterns to give dialogue interest.

10. Keep dialogue tags simple and use sparingly. “He said” is perfectly fine. Don’t try

and convey meaning in a dialogue tag by writing “He said, sadly.” Make your

dialogue convey the character’s sadness. Also, you don’t need to say “he/she said”

with every sentence of dialogue if it’s clear to the reader who is speaking. Take out

the extra ones.


When you revise dialogue, be sure to punctuate it correctly so that your readers can see

who is talking and where a line of dialogue begins or ends. The rules for using quotation

marks, commas, and end marks of punctuation are listed below.

● Use quotation marks before and after a character’s exact words. Place a period

inside closing quotation marks.

e.g., “Peter and Esteban are joining us.”

● Use a comma to set off the speaker’s tag (he said) from the beginning of a

quotation. Place the comma inside closing quotation marks when the speaker’s tag

follows the quotation.

e.g., Harry said, “Come on, Ray. It’ll be fun.”

“Let’s go,” Gilda said.

● Use quotation marks around each part of a divided quotation. Remember to set off

the speaker’s tag with commas.

e.g., “I’m not sure,” said Ray, “that I feel like it.”

● Place a question mark or an exclamation point inside the quotation marks when it is

part of the quotation.

e.g., “When will we be back?” Ray asked.

“Hooray!” said Debbi.

● Place a question mark or an exclamation point outside the quotation marks when it

is not part of the quotation.

e.g., Did I hear Ray say, “Okay”?

I can’t believe he said, “Okay”!

● Start a new paragraph when you move from one speaker to another.

e.g., “How long a hike is it?” Ray asked. “I don’t know whether I have the energy.”

“I think,” said Iris, “that it’s about seven miles to the top.”