Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Quirks of Being a Writer

Here is a post I know you guys will love and relate too -- all about being a writer, and the many fun things that come from it :) A HILARIOUS post!! And filled with the amazing people at my favorite writerly website, Agent Query Connect :)

So, one day when I was about 13, I was in my room thinking of a scene for a story that never got written. In the scene, a nerdy girl was cornered by a group of bullies. I took the scene out to the hall so I could press myself against the wall and gasped out for the imaginary bullies to let me go. And then: "DEBORAH!" My mom called upstairs to ask what I was doing because she heard me panting.

Mort. if. ied.

Needless to say, I never acted out scenes while people were home ever again.

Let's face it, writers are crazy. Many are introverted and can be out of touch with reality. We have rituals, ways to push, we read out loud a scene from our heads onto the paper, digital or real. If we need to know if something sounds right, we read it aloud. Some of us have to blast music. Some of us need total silence. Some prefer a desk, while others can write outside. These are (I think) the normal writer quirks.

Some writers' quirks are weird. I'm a method writer (is that a real term?). I have to act out some of my scenes. I love to act and mimic voices, so whether I am doing a small girl's voice or a man twice my size, there are mannerisms and voices I need to project so that I can feel my characters. If a motion is visually hard for me to see? I do it. I once threw a hard-cover dictionary across the room to see if it can be thrown quickly enough to break bones (I didn't throw it AT anyone, just needed to see if it could attain a good velocity.)

Wondering if it was just me or if I need to be committed, I asked my AQC family if anyone had a quirk they, like me, weren't ashamed to post, and there is a reason we are a family. There are others.

"I do have this thing where I can't write with blue ink. I just... can't lol. It bugs me. I prefer black ink, but I'll write in red, green, purple, pretty much any other color besides blue."
"I talk out loud. Work through the scene. Makes me look like a nut job in the car though . . . . "

"I have conversations with my characters.... Wow, that sounds slightly insane, right? I don't know. My characters talk to me and I talk back. It really helps actually."

"My other quirk? I wear a talisman of sorts when I write. It's a double sided heart pendant. One side is all white diamonds, the other is all black...If I write about the villains, I flip it to the dark side, if I write about the better characters, it's on the clear diamonds."

"I re-read my work aloud to make sure it sounds right. And I tend to visualize every scene I write, as if I'm living it."

H. Bruce
"I tend to trap musical themes in my head that animate certain scenes. Some scenes have no soundtrack, and in some cases the music upstairs is too loud and has to be cranked down a few notches."
There have to be more like us.

Are you a writer with a weird quirk that helps you write? Post it in the comments below if you are proud of the odd things you do.

An avid Final Fantasy player, Debra McKellan is a receptionist by day for the local Division of Developmental Disabilities Services. She writes speculative fiction, mainly fantasy, and sometimes dabbles in poetry and songwriting. She blogs at The Writer Ambitious and tweets.

Debra is VERY nice and is an incredibly fun person, as you can see from the plethora of feedback on this post that she got from the AWESOME website, Agent Query Connect. So follow her blog and twitter! She's great.


  1. I act out my scenes too. ALL THE TIME. It helps me get a sense of what's going to happen, whose reactions are going to be what, a person's tone, etc. Fantastic post!

  2. I don't think I have any quirks. I do need music in the background because it sets the mood.

  3. Man, my pic is huge. haha Let me go shrink that. XD Thanks for letting me takeover for a day, SC! @}--'-

  4. I have quite a few quirks! I've never acted out a scene, but I read and talk out loud ALL THE TIME. The walls around my computer know more about me than my family. I have a favorite pen type that I need to use for revisions ONLY. I have a pastel colored chameleon stuffy - a sad, rejected, super-ugly stuffy I saved from the clearance bin - who keeps me company as I write. Her name is Karma (I know, I know, not very original). She often acts as a paperweight. The list goes on... lol.

    Also, I nominated you for the Liebster but have no idea how to let you other than in comments... I hope you read your comments! Sorry, I'm totally new at this. Here is the link to my post. Cheers!

  5. OK, totally didn't add the link. See? Told you I'm new at this. This is better, although I'm sure you would have figured out the cut/paste thing. :)

  6. I think I responded to that thread, but I can't remember. I know I at least read it.

  7. We finally got a house. Before now, we've strived to have an office for me in every place we've lived, ever since our first studio apartment. I do a lot of pacing, acting things out (especially fight scenes), I'll say the dialogue aloud, etc.

    My husband doesn't seem to mind it, but I still get self-conscious when I notice somebody else can see.