Monday, February 16, 2009

Do you eavesdrop?

It seems to me that if you don't eavesdrop on other people's business you can miss out on a lot, especially if you are a writer. Years ago at work I overheard two women talking about shaving their legs. One said to the other, "If I had legs like yours, I'd get a guy to shave them for me."

Then yesterday in a grocery store I saw a man of about 35 walking with one arm gripped tightly around the shoulders of a girl of about 13. As I passed them, I heard this:

Girl: "Why did you hit me?"
Man: "Because you needed to be hit."

As innocent as it could have been, that snippet of conversation disturbed me. There are certainly a lot of blanks a writer's imagination could fill in.

Do you eavesdrop? Do you find it grist for your fiction-writing grindstone?


Bluestocking said...

Yes I do eavesdrop. You overhear some thoroughly entertaining material.

Morgan Mandel said...

Yes, I eavesdrop while walking to work. Sometimes I have to cross the street and miss out on the rest of the story, which is disappointing.

Morgan Mandel

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

I love to eavesdrop - you can hear the most interesting remarks.

Jane Kennedy Sutton

Gwyn Ramsey said...

I believe most people eavesdrop. I also love watching people, especially at the mall. While I sit and eat at the food court, a whole scenario spreads before my eyes. Very entertaining.

Gwyn Ramsey

Anonymous said...

One can't help but eavesdrop sometimes. You wouldn't believe some of the stuff I overhear while sketching animals at the zoo...

Anonymous said...

Sure I do. It's our DUTY (smile) as writers. That lover's quarrel behind closed doors - I got my ear up to the door. I want to know how to write a REAL lover's spat!