Monday, January 28, 2008

Writers are Eavesdroppers

Writers are a curious lot. We see things and wonder what if, we love public places as long as we aren't the center of attention because we can listen to conversations and hear different dialects and ways of speaking to use in dialog. We also garner little jewels of information while listening to others conversations.

I was fortunate enough to have an interesting person sit next to me on a flight home from Alaska. She was talking with the fellow on the other side of her and I, of course, listened in. From their conversation I learned her occupation and then the wheels started turning in my head about what a perfect occupation of a character for my next contemporary. So when she finished visiting with the other person, I asked if she'd mind giving me more details about her line of work. I explained I was an author and it would work perfect for a project I've been mulling around. She was gracious and explained things to me and we exchanged e-mails so I can pick her brain more as I get the story more solidified.

Now, I'm not a person who generally speaks to someone like that. Any other time I would have stayed hunkered down in my seat trying to be inconspicuous. But when something comes along that will work in a book, I can step outside my comfort zone and be bold.

How about you? Are there instances when you'll step outside your comfort zone and approach someone you normally wouldn't? Or do you remain in your little corner? Or are you an outgoing person? If so, do you even think, "Could I be bothering or make this person uncomfortable, if I start talking to them?"


Nicole McCaffrey said...

It really depends on the situation for me. I used to be more outgoing, but a decade of working from home has turned me into a real hermit and I now will actually pray to be invisible in most situations (i.e., please don't let that friendly-looking person behind me in line at the grocery store strike up a conversation!) But sometimes, necessity does make me speak up! Inquiring minds want to know, after all! *G*

Paty Jager said...

I've never been outgoing. I will do anything to avoid having to talk to people. Even people I know. I'm notorious for ducking down aisles to avoid someon I know because I don't want to talk. So it isn't just strangers who look like they might say something!

All this promotion and book signings are making me come out of my shell and I haven't decided if I like it yet. ;)