>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!