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Write Believable Conversations

October 26, 2012

I returned to the entrance of the gym the other day to wait for a friend.

There was a guy leaning on the front desk, talking to the gym clerk. I found he looked somewhat like a warrior: stocky, broad, dark skin, head well shaved except for the black crest of hair fashioned like a mohawk.

So I sat on the waiting chair, paying no mind as I know never to interrupt a man when he’s talking to a lady.

Suddenly, I noticed the guy looking at me.

“Good night,” said the man, to which I responded.

“Are you a Christian?” he asked.

“Yes, why?” I said.

“Because Christians are usually humble and quiet, not liking to make a scene.”

Now I have met many Christians with a variety of attitudes, so I know this is not true. So, to that I said, “Well I don’t think that has anything to do with religion. It has more to do with the individual. I am naturally a quiet person, plus I greeted the lady before, and I didn’t want to interrupt your conversation.”

“Well I would like to include you in the conversation,” said the man. “What do you think of this scenario?” He then continued talking about life and all whatever’s that comes with it.

Notice anything? Not the fact that life-stories were coming from a warrior, but how the conversation flowed naturally from one point to another.

He started talking to me, asking a question based on my entrance. I responded, keeping in context with his question.

That’s how conversations flow. People don’t say random things, not before a third beer anyway. And that’s how it should flow in your story.

You can use real experiences like this to fuel believable conversations.

Now your story would likely have many scenarios with many conversations. How do you become an expert at writing them all?


That’s what it’s called internationally. Here in Trinidad and Tobago, it’s called macoing (note, not a maco meh man, that’s something completely different, and you will be punched if you walk around calling people that).

But in the world of writing, it’s called research.

Find this a bit extreme? I did. But it’s advised by top authors. Take a read of this interesting article on Writer’s Digest .

So go ahead and maco at the coffee shop, maco at the mall, maco at the airport.

And so you don’t forget, write down what you hear. Your story will be filled with believable, flowing conversations.

Just don’t maco the wrong conversation. We don’t want the government snuffing you out because you know the true purpose of Area 51, or in Trinidad’s case, Section 34.

So next time you see me macoing, just remember that I’m not being intrusive, I’m doing research.

So what do you think of macoing to write believable conversations? Let me know in the comments. And if you haven’t already, don’t forget to read this month’s trailer of my latest book, King Larsen.

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From → Writing Tips

One Comment
  1. narina permalink

    Lol…hahaha at Maco meh man…I know someone who comes to mind lol. Hmmm that would make a good story…a certain older, over the hill gentleman who refuses to age gracefully and desperately tries to clutch on to the last straws of his once cherished youth by wooing young girls who are obviously to young and out of his league. A man with a midlife crisis. Lol

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