View Full Version : How to Eavesdrop without being Noticed

Amber Grosjean
March 2nd, 2010, 01:33 PM
When you go out to watch people and learn from them for your benefit as a writer, I'm sure you worry about the people you're watching catching on. No one wants that. So here's a little advice on how to watch others without being noticed.

First of all, use your ears more than your eyes. Listen to how people talk. As you are listening to conversations, listen to how they choose their words, the tone in their voices, etc. As you are listening, let your eyes wonder. It doesn't matter if what you're seeing matches what you're hearing. You're not there to eavesdrop on the conversations, just on the people.

As you're eyes are wondering, focus on the body language, looks on their faces. Don't stay on one person for too long it might be a good idea to be with a friend so you can look like you're visiting with someone. But don't ignore your friend though. He or she can even help lol.

As you're learning, you can write things down describing what you're seeing and hearing. Use the same words you'd use for your writing of the story so you're not confused. Later on when you're ready to incorporate what you've learned, you can change things around using a thesaurus so you're not getting repetition.

And have a drink or something to eat. I forgot to mention that lol.

I people watch all the time. The more you do it, the better you become. I hang out in clubs sometimes and I watch how people move around and who they talk to. It tells me what kind of people that person is into. It also shows how many friends they have if they do move around a lot lol.

By hanging out in a place where your characters might hang out if they were real, will give you a better feeling of the atmosphere so be sure to look around where you're at for that as well. If its a library, pick the type of area that holds the books your character would be found reading. Now look at the people. Are they studying, talking with friends, playing on the computer. In a library, you can walk around and get a peak at the books someone is reading, sneak a quick peak at a website the person is visiting, etc. Or you can sit there and absorb the information like you would in a bar.

And the great thing about this is that you can keep it up throughout the book. If your character goes to the store, you can go to the store too. It can make the story more real for you which is a great way to make the character real for you.