Thursday, November 19, 2009

Writing Quirks

After agonizing over something to share with everyone, I finally decided to focus on a few of my odd quirks when it comes to writing and ask if any of you have them as well.

Unlike most people that prefer sticky pads and computer programs to keep their stories in line, I'm a cheap-o composition pad lover all the way. I have one for each story I've ever written, and even purchase the little-bitty ones to keep in my purse when the brain is a stewing over a new plot, characters, or a story I just can't seem to get out of my mind. I get odd looks sometimes when diving for the pen that is often lost in the monstrosity of what I call a Mom purse (which can occur anywhere, including the movies), but I've found it works best for me.

Some of my other odd habits?

Listening to Music and making "mini-movies".

When I can't work a scene or can't "see" it right in my head, I'll pop on some music to create the mood and let my brain go. If I'm lucky, I can accomplish this while doing mundane chores around the house. Tackling two birds with one stone and all that.

Playing it "odd".

When the story just isn't flowing well and I want to go postal, I'll go full on silly instead. It's always fun to open a new word document and place the characters that aren't giving you squat into odd situations to see how it plays out. One time I had my hero and heroine combating large roach-like insects inside a warehouse using nothing more than a hand kettle of Jiffy-Pop and a case of Coca-Cola. Think a funny version of the movie "The Mist", minus Thomas Jane and that creepy Marcia Gay Harden woman.

Writing a scene in first person, then switching it up.

I love doing this. It helps me gain a feel of the character and hear their distinct voice. I don't do this often because it becomes a project of it's own, but writing something in a first person narrative from the hero or heroine's perspective truly does give you a fresh outlook on the material.

Those are just a few odd things I do when the mood isn't there and I need to re-group or take a break. Most of them are meant to be (and are) fun and relaxing. Sometimes, that's the only way to combat the stress of daily writing.

What are some of the things you do to stay on track? Share with a comment. I can't wait to read your answers.

Happy Writing!


  1. I love that picture/caption. I do the music thing to set a mood too. Although my biggest problem for staying on track is my addiction to facebook/email. They are the evil step-children to my writing - always demanding attention, always having more fun.

    Just like for my kids, I've set rules that I can only check email/facebook at the start of my day, when the kids come home, and at night before bed. To try and keep writing front and center as my focus.

  2. Hey Beth,

    I hear you about FB and email! I've actually forced myself to stop going there (haven't visited in a couple of weeks) to stay on track. Unfortunately, a rash of piracy with some of my other work has taken up that time and it seems like I'm constantly online trying to curb that versus getting any writing done.

    Hey! You were in the COTN anthology with me...I really liked your story! =D


  3. Hey Jaime

    Thanks. I didn't realize you were in the anthology too. Did you do the Saturday interview? I just got my copy yesterday and I haven't had a chance to read it.

    Sorry to hear about the piracy thing. That really sucks.

  4. Hey Beth ;)

    My story is the last one, Redemption. I couldn't make the broadcast, I was out of the house all day into the evening, but I did listen to it later (heard you on there!)

    Yeah, the piracy thing does suck, but what can you do? I just keep having the links removed and crossing my fingers that the people stealing the work take a hint.

  5. Love the hero and heroine fighting cockroach like creatures. What a great suggestion for fighting writer's block!

  6. Hey Emma Lai,

    It's definitely fun! I've got a stack of silliness printed out and placed into a folder. It's like my own version of "Scary Movie", making fun of my own mind. ;)

  7. I write in exercise books and have them all over the place. What a great idea about writing in 1st person. I'm having problems with my two male characters. I think they sound too alike - doing a first person scene just might work!

  8. Hey Shelley,

    It really does work! Especially when you can't hear whoever you need to! Hope it helps. ;)

  9. If I need to step back from my WIP, I might work on my blog, browse facebook and play vampire wars.

  10. Great blog! Hmm, I'm just one big quirk in general, so I'm not sure I can identify one in particular. I don't really write much down about my books (pantser, anyone?) and if I get blocked, I usually stop working on one story and work on another (which is probably why I have so many wips...)

    But your ideas are awesome. :)

  11. Great tips, Jamie, and loads of fun, too! Thanks for sharing. I like to see scenes from multiple POVs before I write it. Although sometimes, I begin a scene and it takes on a life of it's own. That's when I say "How come I didn't think of that?" Those characters just have to have their say, right?

    Thanks for sharing:)