With my little eye. And ear. And camera.
Writer Unboxed had a fun post about spying last week. No, not for the government, for our novels. While she's a bit extreme I'll admit to people watching. It's fun and interesting and hopefully it helps me create well rounded characters for my novels.
I tend to watch more than listen really, and if someone is trying to be discrete I'll respect their privacy.But nowadays it's hard not to eavesdrop when people are walking around the grocery store airing their dirty habits and health issues on their cell phones. And if something they say sparks a scene or a story I'll use it.
I've never secretly photoed someone so I can use them in my novel though. Have you? How far have you gone to hear the end of a conversation you got caught up in? Have you ever been caught spying? And if so do the words "I'm a novelist" make it better? Just in case, you know.