Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dialogue- Eavesdropping

For the past couple of months I have been focusing on writing natural sounding dialogue.  I have a tendency to get held up on the flow of conversation and whether or not the rhythm of speech is 1- believable and 2- true to the character.  It's a pain in the ass to get hung up on details like this when you are unleashing the beast that is a story from your soul/brain/heart/innards.

Also, annoyingly so, when I'm reading other people's work and their dialogue is unnatural, I can't get around it and I inevitably get turned off from the story.  Usually, I don't even finish it. (I know- asshole move!)

A professor of mine posted this video on dialogue that I wanted to share with you!  (Since, I've noticed that many of my followers are also aspiring writers!)

I love this video for many reasons.  My professor is insanely awesome (I'm taking a screenwriting workshop with him next fall and I'm excited/ridiculously nervous), this video relays some valuable knowledge yet is also entertaining, and he mentions eaves dropping on people's conversations and jotting them down (which I do A LOT!)  Here's the video:

And, here are a few snippets from my notebook of conversations I've jotted down recently:

Boy 1- "Call me when you can.  Yeah?"
Boy 2- "Ben."
Boy 1- "Ben."
Boy 2- "B E N."
Boy 1- "Okay."

??  Yeah, I don't get it either.

Boy- "You like what?  Oh my god."
Girl- "What?"
Girl- "I don't get."

???  I "don't get" either.

Girl 1- "So um that's so scary 'cuz like, anyways."
Girl 2- "Um, they said something about.. ummm.."
Girl 1- "Yeah!"
Girl 1- "That's it!"

I'm glad they so enthusiastically discovered whatever the hell it is they were trying to figure out.

Boy 1- "Monte."
Boy 2- "How's it going?"
Boy 1- "Good."
Boy 3- "You be havin'?"
Boy 2- "No."
Boy 1- "That's a good thing."

Also- NO CLUE.  And no, "be havin'" was not pronounced behaving...  I think they just had really bad grammar, sadly.  :(

I wonder if I've ever been the subject of someones eavesdropping?  And, in that case- I can only imagine what they've overheard!  I can be very awkward when it comes to verbal conversation, if I'm excited or upset, I usually make no sense whatsoever.

I also spend a lot of time making "general" observations about a space.  For example:

6 Black Sweaters/Shirts
4 Gray 
1 Lime Green
1 Forest Green
1 Pink
1 Tan (me)
13 No Scarves
1 Scarf (me)
4 Glasses (1 is me)
9 Without Glasses

I think it's odd that I didn't specify how many people were male or female.  I must have initially been intrigued by the number of people wearing black.  Especially because I wear a lot of black myself, but apparently was wearing tan that day.

Do any of you ever write down dialogue?  Or observe spaces?  Or anything else kind of odd?


  1. and this is why i'm not a fiction writer... it sounds infuriatingly difficult!

  2. Anonymous4/13/2012

    Yes, another post with a video featuring the man of my dreams.

    Whenever I think of natural flowing dialogue, I think of Catcher in the Rye.

  3. I observe spaces all. the. time. at work and in meetings. It's truly amazing how so many people in my office come to work looking like they texted each other the night before and coordinated outfits... Must be something about the small office that makes our fashion senses start to match. Weird. For example - today... 4 skinnies. 0 flares. xo


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