Thursday, March 3, 2011

I Don't Have Quirks... Wait, Strike that. Yes I Do.

In a recent QueryTracker blog post by Jane Lebak, she discussed writing rituals.

I definitely have created a set of rituals in regard to my writing.  I like to have a glass of wine or Harvey's Bristol Cream.  I play music to separate me from the chaos in my house and sounds of squabbling and Dora the Explorer.  Nothing unusual about that. 

When it comes to my actual process of writing, I'm a little quirky.  A lot quirky.  I save each chapter it its own file and only create compilations for word count only so often.  I didn't realize how integral this was to my process until I tried to just write it all in one document.  My chapters titles must be significant and my pacing outline is based on a pre-determined number of chapters.  Again, this time around, I tried to just outline an arc and write it, but I kept feeling directionless.  So, I gave in to my inner ocd and laid everything out again in my previously established, ritualistic process. 

I have recently attempted to write with a single space after every period.  I even reset my auto-correct to fix this for me, but worrying about 1 or 2 spaces after every sentence really interrupts the flow of writing.  I figure I'll do a find/replace all when a specific agent's guidelines call for single spaces. 

My quirks are not super over-the-top, but they are clearly in existance.  I am fine with this -- years ago I decided to stop fighting and own the 'quirky and eccentric' lables I had always earned.  I just hadn't realized the quirkiness spilled over into my writing rituals.

Do you have anything you MUST do in order to be able to write?


Raquel Byrnes said...

I MUST have a hot cup of coffee next to me. I have to allow for 'settling in' time of checking email, FB, and Twitter so that I am no longer tempted. If I set a time limit, say, twenty minutes, then I can play around and then get to work.

I also have to have music that fits what I'm writing. Moody bayou violins for suspense, techno for chases, that kind of thing. I think I have more sound track music than regular.

I love that you separate your chapters. It must be really easy to make sure they're numbered correctly. =)

Susan Kane said...

But I LIKE Dora-the-explorer!
Yes, I have rituals. I do some laundry, and clear the kitchen counters, load the dishwasher. That frees me of housekeeper guilt.
I like Earl Grey, maybe because Jean Luc Picard liked it, but there it is.
If my husband is home, I put on headphones and turn on Josh Groban really loud.
No OCD, just the way it is. Susan

Andrew Rosenberg said...

Um, just for the record, it's one space. :)
No agent's going to notice unless they have their own auto correct.
When I'm drafting I put each scene in it's own file, then create chapter files out of that. I still have most of my work in separate chapter files.
I think when you're drafting it's okay to ignore punctuation but it is something you should fix during revision.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

You know I am beginning to wonder just how OCD agents are who get antsy over two spaces. Is that on par with rock stars who demand only red M & M's in their candy dishes backstage? Have a great end of week, Roland

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