Writing Dialogue

How To Write Dialogue By Listening

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As we get older, we learn to tune out our surroundings. This makes listening more and more difficult. At the mall, the airport, the grocery store announcements, the drive-through, and the theatre. So many voices saying so many things.

To live our lives without going crazy, we run a sort of white noise over this. We have spent most of our lives learning to ignore or tune out the noise. We treat words like we treat trash or unwanted guests.

It is sad that we are forced to filter out so much conversations in our life. From the moment we are born, we are shown image after image. But we are attacked by a monster amount of words as well.

How To Write By Listening

To write fiction, to write in general, you have to listen. You have to begin to tune out all the white noise and begin to focus. Listen in to other people's conversations. Take notes from the words you hear.

But you have to listen as carefully as you can. Edit what you hear. Think about what the people are saying and how they are saying it. Cut words and add them. Look at the conversation from a twenty thousand foot view. Think of it like an endless supply of live words and sentences that you can use for your writing.

Of coarse, you need to be able to turn up your listening abilities to take all this in. You have to cut through the years of training to catch every signal on any channel.

There are many ways to write from listening. Here are a couple of things you can do:

  1. Scribbling - When you are out and about, listening to conversations can be fast and unexpected. Scribbling down notes is a great way to capture what you are hearing. Sometimes, without warning, you come across a gem, a real magnificent line of words. But your appointment has you running in the wrong direction. The best way to catch the conversation is by scribbling it down as fast as you can on your way to your meeting.
  2. Crowding - Getting close to people can be a challenge. But this is the nature of the beast. Learning how to get people to get crowd around you without drawing attention or being put in jail is a skill you'll need to learn. The best way to carry out this is to go to places where there are lots of people available for you to get close to without drawing too much attention you your self. Subways, airports, coffee shops that are full, and much more.

After learning these three skills, you will be able to start writing dialogue in a whole new light. Every time you go out, you will realize that you have entered a gold mine of language made just for you to write. It is all there for the taking.

Make sure that you check out the links above to better understand each part of this process. Please leave comments below and pass this along to your friends.

Thanks and happy trails.