Listening In

Hello everyone: hope you have had a good week. Spring will soon be here!

This week’s writing tip is all about eavesdropping on other people’s conversations. 🙂 It comes from an experience I shared a year or two ago, but still very relevant! You might remember it (if you’re an old hand at Write for a Reason), but there’s no harm going back over old ground, and will be fresh for those of you who have joined more recently. 🙂

People standing in a queue

Listening to people while waiting in a queue, or sitting in a coffee shop, or waiting at the school gates, can produce some great ideas for writers.

Some time ago I was changing in a cubicle at our local swimming pool. Without being able to see the participants in the conversation, I unwittingly overheard three girls talking to each other about their relationships with their boyfriends. What they were revealing was actually quite hair-raising… if they’d known I was in a cubicle right next to them I’m not sure they would have been quite so forthcoming!

The conversation gave me:

  • some great ideas for interaction and dialogue between characters
  • an idea for a plot twist (being unwittingly overheard)… feel free to use it! 🙂
  • a bit more knowledge of current teen culture (we need to keep up with the world of our readers, if we are to stay relevant)
  • a window on what girls talk about when they are alone – or think they are.
Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason
Janet Wilson, founder of Dernier Publishing and Write for a Reason

So this week’s writing exercise is to do a bit of eavesdropping! An excuse for a coffee in a café? Or to go swimming? 🙂 If you try it, let me know what you have learnt!

Grace and peace to you,



.PS. If you found this tip useful, would you share it with your writer friends? Let’s spread the encouragement! Thank you. 🙂

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