Freewriting is a type of writing where you just sit down and begin without worrying about where it will end or how good it is. You are basically just putting words down on paper as fast as you can. While normal freewriting can be really useful and inspiring too, one of the most underestimated ways to use it is with dialogue. Most people do not think about writing free dialogue, but coming up with a character on the spot and getting them to start talking can inspire all sorts of things.
Obviously, every story needs to start with the character. You need to know who your main character is before you begin writing. You may not know everything about them, but you have to know something. If you don’t have a character, then come up with a name out of nowhere and start writing dialogue for them. You can have them talking to themselves, you can have them interacting with another character that you make up on the spot or you can even have them talking to you. Whatever the case may be, this dialogue will help you develop that character and you might find that that is the perfect character to base your story around.
Of course, dialogue doesn’t just have to inspire characters. It can also inspire your entire story. If you can get your character talking, there is a decent chance that they will begin talking about something interesting that happened to them and that may be the basis for your entire novel or short story. Writing free dialogue for story inspiration can be really challenging at first, because you don’t know where to take the conversation, but if you keep at it, eventually you will get the words coming out with almost no effort.
What about your setting? You can use dialogue for this as well. For example, you could have the character describe the setting that they are currently in. Most people use the freewriting technique to simply describe the setting, but having a character describe it through dialogue can give you an entirely new perspective. You probably already know what sort of genre you want to write in, so all you have to do is come up with a character that fits within that genre and then see where they live, how they get to work, what they do for fun and what sort of interesting things have happened to them; all through dialogue. As you get them to talk about these actions, they will also be describing the setting that those actions happened in.
Freewriting is definitely a challenging technique if you have never done it before. You sit down at your computer with an empty document in front of you and have no idea where you’re going next. It may be the most challenging to actually come up with that first paragraph. But once you have something substantial down on paper, then you can start developing a story, character or setting, and dialogue is one of the most unique ways to use this technique.