Do you ever get the feeling that someone is watching you? You know, that eerie sensation that makes the hairs on your neck stand up? Well, if you happen to live in my area of Tennessee, there's
a logical reason for that. You are being observed, by me.
No, it's not some creepy stalker thing. Honest. I'm a completely harmless grandpa dude. You're being observed for the sake of my craft, writing. Some of the best moments of interaction between humans occur in the grocery stores, beauty parlors, shopping malls and hardware stores throughout this country. I know. I listen and observe.
Suppose you're writing a murder mystery. Your good guy character needs to run into a toy shop to follow a suspect. How do you get into that character's head enough to write riveting dialogue to give your tale a shot of spine tingling realism? Why, you walk into a toy store and shadow unsuspecting shoppers of course. Be stealthy. Be smooth. Be careful, though. Getting caught can lead to anything from minor embarrassment to irate shoppers calling the store manager. Avoid following underage girls and granny ladies. Following minor females will get you arrested. Granny ladies in Tennessee will shoot you. I know. In my gun dealing days, I armed many grannies. Of course, if you're as suave and clever as your imaginary spy, just say, "I've been searching for that toy everywhere! Where did you find it?" Never mind that you're standing in front of a shelf full of the identical item. Just grab one, say "Thanks so very much!" and walk away quickly.
Occasionally I need a few modern slang words for one of my youthful characters to speak trippingly on the tongue. Sitting on a bench outside a theater can be just the ticket. Sometimes, if I sense the right situation, I might buy a ticket and actually go in. Moviegoers can provide nice dialogue, provided I'm not overly interested in the movie. It helps to bring a notepad to jot words down, as cell phone usage is discouraged during the show. Many thanks to the unknowning teens that supplied not only some wonderful new words, but salacious action to be used in a future book. Sally, you've aided the literary arts in ways you cannot begin to fathom. Not only did you give young Billy a shot at second base, you practically wrote a whole chapter on foreplay for me. Also, your enthusiastic fulfillment of Billy's hoarsely whispered wishes gave him motivation to attempt the same thing next week with Karen. You'd be surprised at the stuff teenage boys tell their friends in the bathroom.
So as you're romancing your girl, shopping with your granny, or wondering why the old guy with
the notepad is following you, just remember this. Don't do it or say it in public if you wouldn't want to
read about it in a book. Until next time, buy a book at loredagger.com. You might have a starring role