Wednesday, May 8, 2013


by Linda Robertson

{NOTE: Read this post in the voice of favorite announcer. It's better that way...}

Attention Authors!

Have you ever taken your laptop or netbook to a public area to write? If so, YOU could be a contestant on a new game show called: EAVESDROPPING for DIALOGUE!
{This ad/post is complete and utter fiction.}  

{Insert canned applause here anyway.} 


We send you out into the world, onto crowded elevators (turbolifts), to local coffee shops, to middle-of-nowhere travel plazas, to airports and train stations, even on day trips via bus! We guarantee you’ll get an ear full! By studying the speech patterns and mannerisms of the people around you, you’ll gain ideas for characterization. AND! By giving consideration to clothing style and dialect/accent, you will begin to see past stereotypes.
The trick is going out there alone. You work in a public area, you look busy and you blend into the background. People ignore you as if you aren't even there! They talk while they are in line, either to friends with them, or, even more fun…on the phone to someone elsewhere. You get only one side of the conversation, and get to makeup the rest!

The best incorporation of some quote heard during the show {read “show” as “writing exercise”} gets to remain in the manuscript and becomes a fun little anecdote to tell at conventions.

ACTUAL EXAMPLE: I was standing in line at my local Panera one day, on my phone, talking to a pal who had read a few of my books and was inquiring about Johnny. I suppose the way I was talking about Johnny the people in line around me (who could not resist the temptation to listen/pay attention to my convo because I’m not a particularly loud individual) would assume he was a real live person. “He thinks he’s a rock star, and really for his local area I guess he is, so he’s justified in playing the part.”  “Well his tattoos are intimidating. I mean, yes he’s gorgeous and his phone voice is low and sexy and awesome, but the tats make him look fierce being all around his eyes, yanno?”   “Yeah, he’s a dirty-minded wit; he  always has some innuendo answer.” And at that point she asks about his wolf form, i.e. : Is he sized like a real wolf? The next thing I say is, “No, no. He’s the size of a pony.” At which point the ladies in line around me turned and stared at me.

I have seriously considered a scene with Persephone on the phone somewhere and a similar conversation happening…

And gues who's excited about the upcoming release of


  1. ROFL... I would've loved to see that. The slow turn as their minds process what you just said. Some of them went to that naughty place - you know they did.

  2. Oh please, please, please write a scene with Seph on the phone having to describe Johnny!!!! If it is anything like your Panera convo it will be GREAT!

    Can't wait for Star Trek! (I have to blame my Trekkie parents for influencing me...but if they hadn't I would have a serious need for creative release!)

  3. heh heh heh. YEah, I overheard a conversation like that once. Only when she talked about size, she meant it in the risque sense. Nearly died of embarrassment when she realized I was there and had heard what was said.