The art of earwigging

'I never travel without my diary. One should always have something sensational to read on the train.' Oscar Wilde

Have you ever noticed conversations on the bus? There aren’t too many of them nowadays. With phones and ear buds creating a deafening silence. But there are a few to be captured should you dare to earwig for the sake of a story.

Great dialogue is born from brilliant observations. How people really talk can cement a character’s appeal to the reader.

By earwigging into other people’s conversations you can develop body language for your character to go along with their speech adding further dynamics to their story.

At a British museum a young boy was heard saying to his dad – when you die, can I use your skull to strike fear into the hearts of my enemies? To which the Dad replied ‘no’.

Another brilliant line came from two women in their seventies, where one said to the other ‘hashtag still not married’.

These hilarious encounters can potentially spark ideas for not only character creation but for brilliant dialogue.

Can you imagine how the conversation could possibly continue between these two women for example?

Fiction writing creates an amazing escapism and can cheer us up when we are feeling blue. It’s also a great way to gain perspective and to solve issues in your life.

If you feel overwhelmed by emotions that come up during a writing for wellbeing session why not step into fiction? This will allow some distance from the emotions or the experience which may trigger you.

Give your character a different name and allow the experiences which have caused you some pain to be told from their point of view. Do you see things differently afterwards?

Journaling is a great way to record conversations which can be used for future character development.

Writer Helen Shipman who designed the Fiction courses for WriteWell has this advice about keeping a record of ideas in your journal.

You might not have a tremendously sensational life, but a journal will help you to develop your powers of observation and description, and get into the habit of turning raw experience into writing.

Helen maintains that a journal can set you up with material for the future and to remind you of key moments in life.

For example what it felt like to fall in love, to feel rejection, to have a child, to lose something precious and to overcome difficulties.

Beginners Fiction opens in WriteWell on the 2nd of October. Sign up to the WriteWell Community today and enjoy a 14 day free trial.

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