Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Writer’s Toolkit

Cruising around the blogs as I have wont to do, I came across this blog post at The Writer's Toolkit on how eavesdropping assists a writer get an ear for dialogue. It’s not anything I haven’t heard before but this post does set it out in an inspiring and interesting manner that has actually encouraged me to finally get around to do it.

I think the main reason I don’t is that I have a terrible ear when it comes to picking out one voice from the crowd. Even at a sit-down dinner with only 8 people talking, I’m likely to lose in the crowd the voices of people only two seats down from me.

The other reason is much simpler: I’m lazy.

That aside, it’s something I should do, especially now that I’m writing largely in the perspective of children and teenagers. While my tales aren’t contemporary, and thus I don’t need to get an eye for the speech rhythms, I do need to understand the inter-relationships and general comprehension levels, alongside other things. So I think the next time I am lucky enough to be on a bus with children, I’ll surreptitiously observe their interactions with each other, other passengers, and their family.


  1. This is a good tip. I think we can learn a lot from people watching too, and imagining what they are saying. Thanks for the link!
    Happy weekend,
    Karen :)

  2. What's even better than just eavesdropping is being a watcher, too. How did they sit when they said that? What was their tone? Hell, block your ears and open your eyes and see if you can guess their words just by the way they gesture / stand, etc.