Thursday, 3 April 2014

Coffee Shops

One of my most pleasurable pastimes as a writer is the joy of the coffee shop. There's so much writing material available right in front of you. For example:

- the overheard salacious conversations between friends,
- the one-sided angry mobile phone calls,
- the teenagers hanging out after college discussing their love lives
- and the lone gent who arrives at the same time every day to do the crossword.

The coffee shop gives you a snapshot of the world around you and in particular people undertaking common activities. It provides excellent fodder for new characters. It enables you to listen and write dialogue more realistically. It acts as an observation deck from which you can view the routines of those around you and it can help you create character flaws and details that your own imagination might not have come up with.

All these people and their everyday tales can also provide an excellent starting point for a story - see that well dressed man over there - say what if that's not his wife and he's having an affair. Or what if that young girl was here today to meet her father for the very first time, Or what if the nervous looking woman who blinks too quickly has just heard some life-changing news. If you want to kick start a story, there's certainly plenty of material in the coffee shop. And of course you also get to drink coffee too. Let's not forget the added benefit of caffeine!

Once you've had your fix and picked up all the writing gems you require for the day, you can head home and get scribbling. And don't worry if you miss the coffee shop buzz, you can simply load an App to your computer and you're back in the zone. I particularly like Coffitivity. Try it out to see what you think.

Enjoy your writing and be thankful for the humble coffee shop - it's a writer's paradise!




35 comments:

  1. There is officially an app for everything! Spooky I have of course just tried the app out and it definitely sounds like my local coffee shop. I love spending time people-watching and picking up threads for future stories that one day I will get around to writing! :)

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    1. Hi, Thanks for dropping by amongst your travels. Hopefully you're keeping all those threads for future stories somewhere safe and that you find some time to write them. It's a common issue I think. So many stories and so little time.

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  2. I love to go to our local coffee shop for a couple of hours (on the rare occasions I get to leave the children behind), take my crochet and people watch. Glorious!

    Visiting from AtoZ Challenge

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    1. I know - isn't that a great joy in people watching. I love it.

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  3. You should come hang out at the coffee shop my husband works at - it's like a soap opera some days!!

    (Found you via the atoz challenge)

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    1. Hi Hannah, I don't come to the Bedford area much, but when I do, I'll certainly visit the soap opera you talk about. Sounds fabulous for some people watching. Checked out your site and love the vibrant colours at the top.

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  4. I must go to coffee shops on my own more often! Is a very good idea, all that potential to eavesdrop and pick up titbits of conversations

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    1. Hi Lorna, thanks for stopping by. Yes a wealth of material and the perfect opportunity to eavesdrop.

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  5. I love to people watch and listen to conversations and coffee shops are the best! I don't do it as much as I want, because I have kids in tow usually, but I must do this at least once a month! Great post!

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    1. Hi Lisa, nice to see you here. Yes I'm sure that having children makes it more difficult but hope you occasionally get to take some time out.

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  6. I love to people watch and a coffee shop and airport are the best places. The coffee shop is my favourite because BONUS fresh delicious coffee!

    Cheers, Michelle

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    1. Hi Michelle, thanks for visiting my blog. Oh airports - I've not travelled so much recently but that's a good one.

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  7. So do you listen in on conversations and write down isolated tidbits? That's one of my favorite parts of the coffee shop experience, the eavesdropping. ;)

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    1. Not always, but I have done. It's amazing what you can overhear in a coffee shop or walking down the street. People seem so blase about what they are prepared to share and particularly on mobile phones. It's almost like they think others can't hear their conversations.

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  8. I used to do this all the time while I was studying. I miss it.

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    1. Can you take up another course of study? Hope you are able to take some time out for a coffee shop visit soon.

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  9. I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge. One of the things I miss most about NYC is the pleasure of coffee shops. Thanks.

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    1. Oh yes, NYC coffee shops - they're on every corner. I used to live in Greenwich Village. I've been back in the UK for 14 years now but still miss the buzz of the city.

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  10. Love coffee shops!!
    Visit me to see a great book Climbing Kansas Mountains http://www.jubileereviews.com/2014/04/c-is-for-climbing-kansas-mountains.html

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Melanie. I'll make a return visit soon once things calm down a little. Next week looks a little easier than this week.

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  11. This is a great idea. People watching is always fun, especially when you let your imagination take over!

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    1. Thanks for visiting the site and taking the time to comment. I love people watching.

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  12. I'm a coffee drinker. Never thought of a coffee shop of picking up materiel to use.
    I thought of wall mart. One time I was and some man was cussing away and I had to see what it was he was on cell phone.
    I guess he was upset or piss.

    I'm visiting from A to Z challenge,

    Coffee is on

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    1. Hi Dora, thanks for stopping by the site. You know I knew thought of the big stores - but good idea. It seems that wherever people are, we're likely to find a story

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  13. I like Panera.=) But a good coffee shop can get things going. http://bellesbazaar-heather.blogspot.com/2014/04/c-is-for-car-crash.html

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    1. Thanks for dropping by Heather and commenting. I appreciate it.

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  14. I could not agree more. I love to find an old, mom and pop type coffee shop. So much inspiration flows!

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    1. In a world full of chain coffee stores, those can be hard to find these days Megan. I'm pretty lucky that I live in a small market town in the North West of England and we still have some more traditional coffee shops

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  15. Coffee shops boost my creativity-- there's something about the buzz I need to tune out, I suppose, that makes me focus.

    Consider replacing Captcha with comment moderation to receive more comments!

    Damyanti Co-host, A to Z Challenge 2014, Latest Post

    Twitter: @damyantig
    #atozchallenge

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    1. I know what you mean. The buzz becomes a bit like white noise, but I enjoy being around others as writing can often be a lonely occupation.

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    2. Sorry, also meant to say that I've altered my comments box to hopefully make it easier for people. Or at least I think I have. I'm not that familiar with Blogger

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  16. I am very restless at coffee shops. Especially when i have to wait for someone to arrive. However I get my inspiration from food stores. Each item someone picks, has a background. makes me wonder what they shall cook today :)
    Visiting from A-Z. Keep writing and keep inspiring.

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    1. Thanks for your comment and what a great idea and great inspiration for food related stories. Love it and thanks for sharing.

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  17. Oh, man. What if you don't drink coffee? I guess I could try the Barnes and Nobles cafe.

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    1. How about tea? Being a Brit, I drink an awful lot of that too, but I do like my coffee fix. I love B&N cafes. The last time I came to the US two years ago, I spent a lot of time in the stores and in the cafes. Great places.

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