This exercise was created by Jeff VanderMeer, a multiple World Fantasy Award winner is best known for his Ambergris Cycle. VanderMeer is also an anthologist, a blogger for Amazon.com, and the assistant director of Shared Worlds, a creative writing camp for teenagers at Wofford College. VanderMeer offers a two-part exercise that immediately gives participants a vivid image (two people on a beach) and asks you to look closely and notice revealing detail about human interaction.
Part 1: Two people are walking on the beach. You see them from afar. Describe what they’re saying just from their body language. (In other words, don’t use any dialogue.)
Part 2: Now, write the same scene (two people walking on the beach as described by their body language), but this time write the scene all in dialogue with no description.