Every Writer is a Little Insane

This month’s Teens Can Write, Too! prompt was as follows:

“What are your writers’ habits and eccentricities?”

The thing about me as a writer is I like quiet.  I like everything to just be still.  I don’t like noise or activity when I’m writing.  That usually means me sitting alone in my room with the door shut and no music playing.

I know the whole thing of, like, having a playlist for characters and playing it while writing certain scenes is a common thing among writers, but I’ve never been a part of that.  I feel like music just distracts me from what I’m really supposed to be doing, which is focusing on the story.  In fact, I’ve never been able to listen to music while writing anything, and that includes homework.  Aside from maybe math, I don’t have the capacity to have two things going at once.

So that covers what I do while writing.  It turns out, though, that I perhaps do just as much for the story when I’m not writing as when I am.  I can’t think of things on the spot when I’m sitting at my computer.  A lot of times I’ll have an idea while just laying around the house.  I’ll work through an upcoming scene or flesh out a character, all in my head without putting things to paper.  I find that I can’t fully represent my ideas in writing when it comes to tools that other writers use, i.e. outlines, character charts, et cetera.  It’s a lot easier if I just think about it and then go straight into drafting.

Speaking of thinking about it, I do have one rather strange habit.  On rare occasions- rare, mind you- I will roleplay my characters.  Now, I don’t mean to say that I’ll dress like them or anything (which I know some writers do), I mean I’ll put myself in their shoes.  If I’m having trouble imagining how a character is going to react to an event in my plot, I’ll say to myself, “Okay, self.  You are now this character.  This thing happens.  What do you do?”  I’ll go through a whole scene that way, becoming a character and acting out what they would do.  It used to be I would, like, really act out the scenes, but nowadays it’s mostly all in my head, though I will blurt out a line here and there.

I make sure to do this when I’m alone, for obvious reasons.

My eccentric side doesn’t stop there, however.  In fact, it really never stops until I’m finished, because here’s the thing: I absolutely hate people reading something I’ve written before it’s finished.  I’ve touched on this subject before here on the ol’ blog, but there’s just something really personal about my fiction, especially unfinished fiction, that I don’t like people seeing, not even my family.

Well, that’s my little batch of crazy cakes for you.  If you want to see what some other teen writers do, links are below the cut.  For those of you readers who aren’t part of the chain and who write things other than blog posts, what are some of your quirks?

Happy reading.

Want to follow our blog tour? Here are the participating parties, day by day:

April 5– http://correctingpenswelcome.wordpress.com–Comfy Sweaters, Writing, and Fish

April 6– http://towerofplot.blogspot.com — The Leaning Tower of Plot

April 7–http://lilyjenness.blogspot.com–Lily’s Notes in the Margins

April 8–http://weirdalocity.wordpress.com– From My Head

April 9–http://insideliamsbrain.wordpress.com–This Page Intentionally Left Blank

April 10–http://thewordasylum.wordpress.com–The Word Asylum

April 11–http://rachelsbookreviews.com–Rachel’s Book Reviews

April 12–https://noveljourneys.wordpress.com–Novel Journeys

April 13–http://delorfinde.wordpress.com–A Farewell to Sanity

April 14–http://swordofink.com–Sword of Ink

April 15–http://thedreamersadventures.blogspot.com–The Dreamers Adventures

April 16–http://incessantdroningofaboredwriter.wordpress.com–The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer

April 17–http://herestous.wordpress.com–Here’s To Us

April 18–http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com–Teens Can Write Too! (We will be announcing the topic for next month’s chain)

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9 thoughts on “Every Writer is a Little Insane

  1. I love roleplaying characters. It’s the best way to get into their heads (which isn’t always a good idea, as my post will illustrate) and work out how they would react in certain scenarios. I often act out whole scenes in my head, and sometimes in real life too, so I get a few odd looks if I’m in a public place. But it definitely helps.

    • It really does help. Sometimes I’m completely lost as to what a character will do unless I’m inside their head, as it were. (It’s occurring to me that this sounds completely insane when I say it.)

  2. Quirks? I don’t know what you’re talking about! 🙂

    Yea… okay. Maybe I get caught talking to myself sometimes. And sometimes I might get caught answering myself too!

    I plot quietly in my active little brain, but dialog is another matter. I often have to HEAR the words… jump into a character’s head for a while so I can see where they go emotionally through the conversation. It’s all well and fine to list a bunch of exciting events for folks to read… but if the characters don’t reach off the page and make the reader FEEL something then we, as writers, are missing the mark. Immersing myself in a character makes me more aware of what I need to bring out about them so their time on the page has more impact.

    And I don’t do the song-list thing either. I choose inspiring songs that connect me to my story, but I listen to them when I am doing something besides writing. That way it gets the “gray matter” into creative mode when I’m washing dishes, or driving to town, or cooking supper. More than once, that has led me to an awesome “Ah-ha!” moment.

    Laura Ritchie

  3. I can be pretty sensitive about my WIPs, too. Whenever I show an unfinished piece to someone, I find myself explaining every little thing that could possibly be wrong with it before that person even has a chance to read it. Acting as my characters is rare for me, but it does happen sometimes. Great post!

    • Thanks! Oh, I do that, too, with the explaining all the faults. Mostly, though, I’ll just be like, “Oh, it’s not good at all,” repeatedly as I’m handing it to the person.

    • Nothing at all. This applies to things other than writing fiction, too. Just a few days ago I was typing up a paper for my psychology class and just could not think of how to start it. It was awful.

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