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?