>Often at conferences, I hear writers say that if you want to make your characters’ dialogue authentic, you should eavesdrop on conversations of kids and teens. I have also heard writers complain that they don’t have access to kids and teens and find this hard to do. I guess I am lucky in that regard; I have a constant feed from three distinct age groups: 16, 10, and 7.
So, for those less fortunate than I, I thought I’d share some random things I heard yesterday while traveling to and from Jackson on a field trip with my second grade daughter’s class:
**Please note, they were studying colonial times and were all dressed in 1800 garb, so keep that in mind if some does not make sense.
BOY 1: I would not be a girl, that bonnet would mess up my hair.
BOY 2: My hair would be CRAZY! (messes up hair)
BOY 1: (giggles) No, like this. (messes up his hair)
BOY 2: Robot, Robot.
BOY 1: And I would have lollipops come out of my elbows.
BOY 2: I’d have water guns in mine. (Burps then giggles)
BOY 1: (giggles at burp also)
BOY2: I like to burp.
BOY 1: I like to fart.
(giggles from both)
GIRL 1: Gross! Did you hear what he said? He wants farts to come out of his arms!
GIRL 2: Ewww!
BOY 1: (annoyed, corrective tone) Out of his robot arms!
BOY 2: Yeah, so I could stink you up!
BOY 2: For DS?
BOY 1: PSP is way better than DS. You can download movies, go on the internet, wi-fi.
BOY 2: DS can do wi-fi.
BOY 1: But it can’t download movies.
BOY 2: What movies?
BOY 1: Any.
BOY 2: Which ones?
BOY 1: Any I want.
BOY 2: Like what?
BOY 1: I don’t know. I’m not allowed. Ugh, my stomach is eating itself again! When will we be there?
GIRL 1: Hey, **(Boy 1 name withheld) are you in love with **(name of girl withheld)?
BOY 1: No! Why do you help her chase me?
GIRL 1 (ignores Boy 1 and says to Girl 2): He is in love with her.
BOY 1: My stomach ate itself five times. I will die! This museum will kill me. Why can’t we go fishing?
That concludes my quick peak into the dialogue of second graders for now. This is only a ten minute snip-it of the non-stop conversation that occurred in the 45 minutes it took to drive there. I could write the entire thing, but I won’t! And I assure you, Boy 1 did not die, nor was his stomach actually eating itself!
>MUHAHAHAHA, as my eleven year old would say to that! I’ve seen them exchange three page emails with not much more that that (fantastic) sound byte.
That dialogue is awesome, could read pages of that, could anything be ‘funner’? (last word also overheard a million times).
Thanks for posting that!
>I love the segue from bonnets to robot arms.
>Su your son sounds a lot like mine! Thanks for reading my blog and can’t wait to see you in LA!
Jacqui I am about to do my own segue from bonnets to robot arms – sitting down to chop up that synopsis! Thanks for all the help last night with it!
>boys are crazy 🙂