Forums Writing Chapter 3 Using overheard dialogue well

Using overheard dialogue well

The last part of lesson 2 in this chapter talks about “listening better to write better” and brings up the idea of eavesdropping on conversations in public places. A great example of this is Pico Iyer’s piece “Honolulu Overheard.” If you want another example of how to use dialogue well, check out this one.


View Profile 2009-08-26 21:45:26 PDT

Love that article, the dialogue is perfect…I find writing dialogue extremely difficult.

I was also reminded of this website:

Not quite the same, but I think the dialogue recorded here shows just how unique the city is. Plus it’s ridiculously funny.

View Profile 2009-08-31 16:29:31 PDT

Ha! Great link Candice. Thanks for sharing it.

One of my all-time personal favorites of overheard conversation (at a coffeeshop, I think): “If it hadn’t been for my horse, I wouldn’t have spent all those years in college.”

View Profile 2009-08-31 18:28:26 PDT

Isn’t that Lewis Black?

View Profile 2009-08-31 18:53:35 PDT

Holy crap, Kate, you just blew my mind! I think you’re right. I DID overhear something ridiculous about a horse and higher education in a coffeeshop once, but now I can’t remember where it ends and Lewis Black begins! Damn virtual reality of the modern world…

Let me toss out another personal favorite, in that case. I remember this one very clearly:

“It’s not prostitution–it’s called getting good grades.”

View Profile 2009-09-01 15:24:47 PDT

Thanks for the links about using dialogue. I find using dialogue the hardest. Nowadays even harder as i have moved to a country where I am still learning the language. Actually that probably makes it funnier as i misunderstand quotes!! For example I am use to talking with people about sports & instruments. In English I listen to people who play an instrument & play a sport. In Spanish they play a sport but feel an instrument. When a man talks about a woman do they pl…….. See where my mind is going???!!! Misunderstanding of a language can be so misleading but then that makes for better reading sometimes!!

View Profile 2009-09-01 15:51:51 PDT

Yes, Rosie! Using *misunderstood* overheard quotes from a foreign language could be a whole subject unto itself.

View Profile 2009-09-01 23:38:48 PDT