Writers are generally peculiar creatures.
This isn’t our fault! THE MUSE CONTROLS US. And if you argue with the muse it gets offended and flings glitter in your eyes and leaves you in the middle of a puddle of disastrous creativity with only a popsicle stick to use as a life-raft. Which is awkward. Dooooon’t offend the muse.
Since we writers all have our oddball habits, I thought, “Well, why not LIST THEM DOWN? Wouldn’t that be fun?” Then we can compare various peculiarities and confessions and feel strengthened that we’re all super strange * together.
* “Super strange” is kind of like “normal strange” except you get to wear a cape and a very comfortable mask and all the cool kids are doing it. And it’s strange.
- I ALWAYS WRITE IN 3RD PERSON & PRESENT TENSE.
Always. My brain doesn’t even configure in any other format. And I didn’t actually consider that this was a peculiar habit to be so inflexible about — until someone mentioned they couldn’t read my book because they couldn’t stand 3rd person/present. I was surprised. Apparently this isn’t a much loved combination??? And yet here I am. BEING UNIQUE
AND FABULOUSAS ALWAYS.
- I MOSTLY WRITE THE POV OF BOYS.
I am not a boy, just in case you weren’t sure. I also harbour a secret suspicion that boys are alien creatures (I have a brother, so I have evidence) and they are not born with intelligence but rather have to collect it as they go along. AND YET I WRITE BY THEM??? I make no sense, honestly. But somehow narrating characters always appear as boys and I go with it. I even calculated of the 19 books I’ve written = 8 were by boys; 3 were by girls; and 8 were by both. I haven’t written an exclusive girl POV since 2014. Well then. IT JUST HAPPENS THIS WAY. I DON’T EVEN KNOW.
- I AM A BINGE WRITER.
You all think I’m amazingly productive for writing 100K in 5 days. But. I then don’t write anything for the next 4 months. SO am I productive or am I secretly slack
but adorablewriting potato? Hmm? (I’m going to go with both, but I’ll let you draw your own conclusions too.) There are definitely drawbacks to binge writing…#1 being you usually forget WUT R WERDS between books and spend a lot of time crying and thinking of pursuing a career in soap making. But if you do binge-write, you don’t forget what you’re doing OR have a chance to get sick of the project OR have to interact with other mortals for 5 days. SO THAT’S DEFINITELY WORTH IT. (So long as your dog delivers sandwiches??? Mine is terrible at this but in training.)
- I NEVER WRITE TO MUSIC.
I used to always have a movie-soundtrack humming in the background. With the volume suuuuuuper low. Actually it was SO LOW I COULDN’T REALLY HEAR IT. So eventually I asked myself WHY I had on music if I didn’t want to hear it? Answer: that’s what writers do??? NO. WRITERS DO WHATEVER THEY WANT. I put on my fabulous Loki crown and turned off my music. Now I plot to music, but nary do I write to it. Aren’t I incredibly intelligent?? So much.
- I HAVE NAME CRUSHES.
It’s perfectly normal, I’m sure, to just have names that you LOVE for no particularly reason and wish to use on all your characters. Unfortunately it’s not acceptable to name all my characters the same. WHY IS LIFE SO FULL OF PECULIAR RULES OH DEAR. Some of my name crushes are Thomas; Peetey; Atticus; August; Valentine; Patrick and Thibault. THERE IS NO REASONING. THEY JUST ARE WHAT I LOVE. The reason I write so many books is so I can use up all my name crushes.
- I RITUALLY COMPLAIN ABOUT EDITING.
Sometimes editing isn’t even that bad. (SHHH. DON’T TELL TWITTER. I COMPLAIN THERE SO MUCH.) Yet I’m always howling about it. HABIT, FOLKS. Don’t get me wrong: editing it is torturous. I lose braincells. I weep over unfixable plot holes. I delete characters because I’m 1000% tired of their faces. But once I get started, editing goes quite well…BUT WHO WOULD I BE WITHOUT SPENDING 90% COMPLAINING ABOUT IT???
- I CHANGE EVENTS IN 2ND DRAFTS BECAUSE I’M BORED.
When I’m re-writing, I absolutely change things for NO REASON except that I wrote this book already and I’m booooooooored. My brain will look at a chapter and say, “BUT WHAT IF THIS GUY DIED RIGHT HERE. THAT’D BE FUN AND WE HAVEN’T TRIED IT BEFORE. HUH? HUH??” And I inevitably give in. Because I am weak probably.
- I IMAGINE MOST OF MY SCENES BEFORE I WRITE THEM.
So it’s like a constant movie in my head. I go for walks and piece together the book with epic action sequences and witty dialogue — ALTHOUGH IT NEVER WORKS OUT AS GOOD ON PAPER AS IT DID IN MY HEAD DANGIT. But I rarely write a scene I didn’t imagine copiously beforehand. I actually think this helps me write fast. Because I always know where I’m going. (Also I was listening to the author’s note in The Scorpio Races and apparently Maggie Stiefvater does this too. SO HA! I’M 90% ON THE ROAD TO FAME AND GENIUS ALREADY.)
- MY 1ST DRAFT CHAPTERS ARE HORRORS.
One will be 3,000-words, the next will be 10,000 words. THERE IS NO REASON TO THE MADNESS. I just keep going until the scene/thought is finished and then hate myself when I go to edit. Honestly I make it SO HARD on my editing self. Someone should talk to me about this.
- I HAVE MORE IDEAS THAN SENSE.
I have more ideas then cents too, but someday a publisher will notice how dastardly BRILLIANT I am and will buy every book I ever write. And I will be RICH. Clearly going to happen. Any minute now. But anyway — I add at least one new book idea per month. January was rubbish with 4 book ideas. May was sensible with only 1. But least to say I have no time to write these. ONLY TIME TO MAKE PINTEREST BOARDS BECAUSE #PRIORITIES.
- MY OUTLINES ARE 89% JOKES TO MYSELF.
I find myself staggeringly amusing, so isn’t that fun? My outlines are 50% actual useful direction for where the book is going, and 50% sarcastic commentary on how dumb my characters’ decision making abilities are. Do I look like I have regrets? Because I do not.