I always seem to write dialogue first; I’m not sure why. A snippet from a work in progress.

“I like to clean with coffee,” Claire offered. “I just spill it on the floor and then wipe it up.”

He looked at her oddly. “Does that work?”

“No, not really.”

He said nothing. After a moment, Claire clarified: “It was a joke.”


“I spill my coffee a lot, that’s all.”

“That must smell pretty bad, after a while,” he said, considering the idea.

“It does.”

“You should use cleaner to clean it up, then.”

“I do,” Claire answered, completely deflated.


There was an awkward pause. Claire had a sense as of looking down at herself from a great height.

“You’re a writer?” he asked.

“Yup,” she answered, warily, but glad to be moving on.

“I read a lot,” he said. “I’m not into popular stuff. Mostly the kind of thing nobody knows about.”

“Try me,” Claire asked. “What was the last book you read?”