#1 Get outside and eavesdrop – listen to other conversations. Pay attention to how people speak. Then rewrite their conversation in your head, or on paper. Written dialogue is different than spoken dialogue.
Great dialogue demonstrates your character’s personality. It gets right to the meat of the matter. Elmore Leonard is the King of Dialogue. Here’s a great interview with him. http://www.latimesmagazine.com/2012/04/qla-elmore-leonard.html
and here’s a blog post with a few examples of Mr Leonard’s dialogue. http://wardsix.blogspot.com/2010/01/elmore-leonards-dialogue.html
#2 Watch a movie and rewrite the end – We tend to take movie endings for granted, at least I do. I either like them or I don’t. I’m a HEA, Happily Ever After, kinda gal but that’s not always the way a story should end. Watch a movie, preferably one that you haven’t seen before, and rewrite the ending.
You don’t have to actually WRITE the ending. You can imagine it but spend some time enjoying this exercise. It’ll help you improve your ability to plot and answer the “What if,” question.
#3 Get some fresh air – It’s great for your spirit, your mind, and your body. Just do it. Spend some time outside enjoying nature.
#4 Blog – Add something to your author’s blog. If you don’t have one, start brainstorming what you want your author’s blog to look like. What do you want to say on your blog?
#5 Get Visual – Head to Pinterest and look at images that represent the stories you want to tell. Look at magazines. Enjoy photography books and other visual pleasures. As you’re looking at all of the marvelous images, try to pull out a few descriptive words. How would you describe each image in three or less words?