"An Itty Bitty Column on Writing" by Mindy Phillips Lawrence
From Sharing with Writers (Carolyn Howard-Johnson)
August 24, 2008 _/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/_/
EAVESDROPPING FOR WRITERS
A group of retired men met weekly in the small café on Saturday morning for breakfast. They crowded around the same set of tables to talk and to escape from women. They didn’t quite succeed. I usually sat at a nearby table where I could overhear their discussions – usually on sports, politics, family or cars. It occurred to me how wonderful it was to sit there and get a male perspective on life, so I started listening more closely and taking notes. I became a well-trained eavesdropper.
If you want to develop dialogue for your book or short story, take a notebook to a café or other public venue, sit with a cup of coffee or a glass of tea and listen. Listen to the servers, to the men, to the women, to the children. You will learn the rhythms of their speech and the topics of their conversations.
I pray you never hear something illegal that has occurred, but eavesdropping, politely of course, is a great way to learn how to write dialogue and develop characters.
Conversations aren’t the same as dialogue but they help in its development. Be discreet, but tune those ears of yours onto conversations.
Writing Dialogue: Elizabeth Rose
Writing Dialogue, Fiction Writing: About.Com
Baylor University, Writing Dialogue
Arts Edge, Kennedy Center (PDF)
Writing Great Dialogue: Rob Tobinhttp://www.writersstore.com/article.php?articles_id=677