Monday, January 17, 2011

Eavsedropping


Recently my husband and I were at a local diner, having breakfast, when I overheard a conversation, between two men, I assumed were truckers. The topic of the conversation was Escort Services. Yes, that kind of Escort Service. I was talking to my husband, when I picked up pits and pieces of their conversation that made me stop and listen. One of the men told the other one, how the service worked. In those moments I wished I could record them. I carry a small recorder in my purse, not for this purpose, but to record ideas for my WIP, while driving or when I'm away from my notebook and computer.

This would fit in perfectly if my batteries weren't dead. Still, I had another way to capture what I wanted to remember, I pulled out my smart phone and started to take notes, as my husband looked away embarrassed by my sudden interest in perfectly ordinary strangers conversation. They were ordinary, but the conversation was not, it was anything but.

It is moments like this, that we get information and ideas for our stories. It’s what makes our imagination swirl and move up and down with a new story as it’s born. The men finished and left before we did. What they left me with was some very interesting information, not only how a Escort Service works, but how men, who use the service, see and feel about the young women who are a part of that business.

Would you have done what I did? Take notes or try to record the conversation?

7 comments:

Sheila Tenold said...

Yes, I'd absolutely take notes! They’re in a public place. As a writer I have no shame when it comes to using what I overhear.
Recording the conversation presents some tricky issues. Without a surveillance microphone your recorder would capture too much background noise from the kitchen and other diners. I used mine interviewing a man in a coffee shop. Next time I’ll choose a quieter environment.

Jill James said...

I would wish I had recorded the conversation later when I tried to remember the words and the tone of the men talking.

Joanne said...

Eavesdropping---I think many of us do this all the time. Great idea to take notes, because you might have forgotten some important elements otherwise.

My other favorite pastime is people-watching.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Isn't it sweet when something like this can turn a light on in your imagination? I probably would make notes on whatever I could find to write on. I am not organized enough to carry a recorder, but it is a great idea. :)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

For a good portion of my corporate career, I traveled for a living. Airports are great places to people watch and catch an interesting, stray conversation. :) I wasn't writing fiction at the time, but I made up stories in my mind about the people, adding unspoken details to the overheard conversations. Now, I usually wait for the conversation participants to walk away before I jot down all I can remember.

Joan Leacott said...

Definitely. Some of my best ideas come from eavesdropping. Well done, you!

L. A. Lopez said...

Life is the best place to catch stories. I'm using this conversation in a story I'm working on, and did the research into Escort services, and again using it. It was very interesting.