As a writer, it is good to know what your strengths and weaknesses. My strength is dialogue. My weaknesses are too numerous to count (I’ll just start with speling and work my way up from there). But dialogue? No problem, I got that.
My betas have told me that my people sound like real people. Many have said that they can picture the conversations and that the people remind them of people they know. I love writing dialogue and coming up with characters. I credit this in large part to the fact that I love to listen to people talk. Love. It.
Here in Chicago, just walking down the street, you can hear the most awesome, unbelievable, funny, crazy, profound verbal exchanges you have ever heard. I have heard conversations that were so wacky that if I wrote them down, you would think that I made them up. When I hear snippets of conversation gold, I store them away in my memory banks. When I sit down to create my characters, I draw on these conversations–the content, the inflections, the slang, etc.–to bring them to life. I also read a lot of plays, which is something that I’ll blog about later. But suffice it to say that great playwrights know how to capture the reality of language.
Anyway, I know that there are a lot of blogs out there that give writing tips and tricks. I’m not going to try to toss my hat into that broad ring. Instead, I’m just going to use this blog (and Twitter) to help document some of the moments of conversation gold that I have either overheard or participated in myself while out and about in the city of Chicago.
I hope you enjoy reading these conversations as much as I enjoy listening.