Realistic dialogue is hard. Many writing tomes recommend you listen real-life conversations you overhear, but how often do we actually do that? I'm too busy listening to the voices in my head. There's no room for more personalities.
But now I can go over to the mesmerizing blog Eavesdropping Writer. She posts blog-worthy conversations she hears, including full character descriptions. You can't make this stuff up. Thanks to Andrea McMann who recommended this riveting site in the comments over at Writer Mama.
In this spirit, I'll recreate a conversation I overheard in the checkout line at the grocery store. I wish I had written down more accurately, but here goes.
Beep, Beep, Beep (that's the cash register)
The girl checking me out is maybe 17, the bag boy she's talking to is around the same age. She's wearing the standard grocery store smock and so is he, but he also has some hopeful stubble on his chin.
Bag Boy: So what are you going to be for Halloween?
Checker Girl: I think a pirate.
Bag Boy: Cool. Do you have an eye patch? Those are so cool.
Checker Girl: Uh, no
Bag Boy: If you get one, can I have it when you're finished?
Checker Girl: (hesitantly) I guess.
Bag Boy: Seriously, you don't even know, like, how bad I want one.
That must have been two years ago, and I still remember it. The writer in me must have had some caffeine that morning.
If you want to make your own writing blog recommendations for Writer Mama, the best recommender (that is so not a word) can win Kelly James-Enger’s, Ready, Aim, Specialize! Create Your Own Writing Specialty and Make More Money! (Marion Street Books, 2008). She's taking blog suggestions until March 7, 2008.