Wednesday, April 6, 2011

E is for Eavesdropping

Have you ever taken a moment to "tune into" a conversation between two people you don't know? I have. It embarrasses my husband.  He can instantly tell by the glazed over look in my eyes when he's sitting across from me at a restaurant that I've deserted him for the people at the booth directly behind me. It's funny...he even hushes up and/or turns down the volume to give me a chance to hear what I need to hear.

Is that rude? Maybe. But, I mean, I'd never hold anything I overhear against the people who are saying it.  I don't know them, so I'm not judging anything I hear...I just might use what they are saying (or the gist of it) as part of the dialog in my book.

Or, if the conversation they're having is juicy enough, it might even be a whole new idea for a project.

It's not just at restaurants, but it could be in public lady's rooms, fashion stores, waiting in line at the cashier or the bank, or anywhere people will speak with each other, or on their phones (although I'm only getting half the conversation, and I have to use my imagination to fill in the holes).

Have you ever come up with some great ideas just by listening to what others are saying? 

14 comments:

Pearson Report said...

Kelly, your post made me laugh! I do the same thing!
Only it's my daughter that gets bent out of shape!

It's, "Mom, I'm over here, do you mind!" She doesn't get the fascination - yet, but in time I have faith she will hone her womanly skills and tune into the world around her.

You are also clever to see it as an opportunity to gather ideas for plots, writings, characters and the like!

I never miss a chance to bend my ear!

Smiles from Jenny!

Her highness, Samantha Vérant said...

I totally eavesdrop on people, especially now that I live in France. It's a challenge for me to see if I can understand them...

As for generating new ideas? Yeah, not so much. I'm pretty sure the garbage didn't eat the cat.

Dare to Follow Your Dreams

Catherine Lavoie said...

I eavesdrop all the time! Sometimes, I'll have my headphones on but my ipod will be off and I'll just listen to the people around me. Yeah, that sounded a bit creepy! But I only do it to better my craft! ;) Thanks for the follow!

Old Kitty said...

Sometimes people tend to talk loudly over their mobiles so I can't help but eavesdrop! Ahem.

Take care
x

bearledunn said...

Oh my goodness Jim does this eavesdropping
All the time and I always get so embarrassed
Because he is so obvious! Lol
It's funny because he is such a social butterfly
That he listens and most of the time ends up
Taking to the ones he is listening in on haha !!

Tim Riley said...

Just found you through A-Z-love what you're doing with the challenge. I think we all eavesdrop, writers just do it more often and with a purpose.

Kris Yankee said...

Fellow A to Z'er stopping by to say hello. Eavesdropping is part of our job description as writers, along with staring, gawking, and in general being very observant!

Myne Whitman said...

Been reading through the A to E of your challenge, lol. Distractions and Beer take the cake. As for eavesdropping, I do that too, and it sort of filters into my dialogue.

Lynda R Young said...

observation is part of what writers do. We can gain inspiration from the strangest places :)

Devin Bond said...

I love eavesdropping. I wasn't too clever about it when I was little though. That got me into some trouble here and then...

Sometimes the conversations do inspire me towards situations for my characters and other times I'm just listening for the fun of it.

Stratoz said...

as far as I know none of my stained glass pieces have been inspired by eavesdropping, but who knows???

Lisa said...

Yes! I hear some older ladies discussing some juicy divorce details and I put it into one of my WIP's. The funny part will be if they ever read it one day...

Nf1andprek-whisper said...

i did a post on eavesdrop too.. so funny.. and I thought I was so original ... good minds think alike...It can generate ideas.. I have overheard a convesation in a reteraunt..and thought that's good dialogue.

python said...

Ha ha, I can just see you now. You know I do the same thing...can't help it lol.