I’m an eavesdropper. I admit it.
Wherever I go, I’m tuning in to the things that are being said around me.
I’m a snob, though. I generally don’t listen in on conversations between, for instance, the barista and the guy in front of me buying coffee. The guy buying coffee is passing time, waiting for his extra foamy tallboy. The barista is paid to be charming.
That conversation? Worthless. Usually.
I might listen in if there’s no one else around, but I’d rather listen to the old folks behind me, talking in hushed whispers. Or the goth couple hanging out in the corner arguing.
I love it when I’ve already sat down and gotten my coffee. (Black thanks, I’ll add a bit of cream for myself.) Because if I’m sitting, I can take notes. Awesome.
Conversation is great fodder for scenes. It can prompt entire stories.
Here’s Your Prompt:
(And your homework!)
Make time to sit in a place where you can overhear what other people are saying. With luck, you’ll start hearing things in the middle of the conversation.
After you’ve written a few lines, stop listening and re-read what you’ve written down. What story does it spark? Write it.
If you don’t like the first conversation, go listen to another. This time, stop transcribing when something catches your fancy.
If you can’t get out, do an internet search for “overheard conversations.” There are tons of them out there. Ignore the context and the celebrity of who said what. Find a conversation you like, and write from there.