Friday, January 9, 2009

Writing Tip of the Day: Be a Spy!


Spy conversations—and learn.

Without being conspicuous, spend a couple of weeks listening in on other people’s conversations in public places, such as Starbucks or McDonald’s, and writing them down verbatim in a tote-around notebook. Study hard the rhythms, inflections, words, accompanying body/face movement, and keep them all in memory—to be used later as dialogue or even as the basis for a story.

4 comments:

Vicki said...

Hi Michael-

Thanks for the idea.. I like to learn from the successes of others. My husband just bought a book about metaphors that encourages creative thinking.. I'm glad I found your blog!

sapheyerblu said...

Ironically, I do this without thinking about it. My dad was a big "people watcher" and because of him, I've been doing it for years. It's part of the reason I ended up being a writer. Great tip.

mousewords said...

This is a great tip! Another "spy tactic" that has helped me tremendously is watching conversations fly by on Twitter. Really helps catch the word end of things--slang, vernacular, etc.

sapheyerblu said...

@mousewords__
What a cool idea, guess I never really thought of that one. That would also work with forum conversations, and other forms of social networks.

Thanks for the second tip. :)