Thursday, October 10, 2013

Writing Conversation by Eavesdropping

What is eavesdropping?

Wikipedia: Eavesdropping is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their consent. 

Kateri: Eavesdropping is the act of listening to another conversation that you are not involved in creating. 

I love it.  Not for the gossip, but it is nice to know what is going on, but, for my writing.  Who can write a better conversation that an actual conversation?

Warning!  I am not the NSA.  I don’t have any great computer algorithm that will let me listen to telephone calls, or snoop on emails.  I don’t sneak around people to read their emails.  No.  This is not what I do!

How to Eavesdrop.

·         Don’t be overly dramatic; just perk up your ears.

·         Don’t ask people to repeat what they said!

·         Don’t ask a friend what was said in another conversation; at least wait until the people have left.  (I do this with my husband.  He has a hearing problem, so I like to inform him of conversations he has missed.)

·         Definitely don’t stare!

·         Look like you are doing something else.  Maybe you are a college student with a textbook in front of you writing down everything that is said.

·         Don’t give any suggestion that you are writing about someone, they could get really mad, or offended, or worse.

Where to Eavesdrop

Maybe I should title this Where Not to Eavesdrop. Coffee shop, library, cafĂ©, train station, bus terminal, airport, department stores (in a specific section), washrooms!  Yes, some of my best stuff came from a washroom.

Eavesdropping for Writing

Write down exact words or phrases if possible.

Write down the person’s description, especially mannerisms.

Make sure not to use real names or places when you write by the odd chance someone reads what you wrote about them.  Yikes!

 Did you hear that? LOL