Monday, February 23, 2015

Writing prompt: Communication Breakdown

Pick your favorite disaster — earthquake, alien attack, sharknado, whatever. In the midst of this disaster, place two people who will need to rely on each other if they are to survive. Problem is, they don't speak the same language. How do they communicate with each other in order to make it out alive?

Bonus challenge: Neither of the characters speaks English, so there's a communications barrier not only between the characters, but between the characters and the reader, too.

Feel free to make up your own language(s) for this. You can even have one of them speak
Logophilian if you want.

Ulterior motive

The purpose of this prompt is to get you to think about the ways people communicate besides speaking. Many of the nonverbal communications techniques and cues you come up with for this prompt can easily find their place in stories where everyone understands one another.

Remember: Characters can transmit a lot more information than just what's in their dialogue.