Writing Quirks

I was thinking the other day about my writing quirks - the thing that stamps my identity onto my writing. Kinda like how you can listen to loads of music from the same composer and always hear their unique sound. And I don't just mean the writing itself, but also how I write.

Coffee shop writing is a quirk I think plenty of us share... even though I don't actually drink coffee. Tea or hot chocolate, please!

One of my quirks is my decision to give my female characters traditionally male names. Hayden, Ed, Ryan... In fact, the main character of my recent Ghost!Story series is the only one I've ever had with a traditionally female name - Zadie.

Some quirks I've had to work really hard to stamp out. I used to write really long sentences. I stuffed in as many unnecessary words as humanly possible. Everything was so chatty. My characters never shut up, and neither did I. Going back and reading it now is pretty cringe-inducing. I also wrote overly detailed (and overly complex) fight scenes. Keeping track of everything became impossible. Everything went on and on and on. Yawn. That particular quirk had to be edited out. A lot. Editing teaches you to write more succinctly in your first draft so you don't have to edit so much later on.

Then I have little quirks like making sure I use specific pens with specific notebooks. I am really obsessive about stuff like that. For someone who never plans, and isn't particularly neat, I get very funny about not having the right pen...

Actually, I love writing scenes by hand. I find it so liberating to disconnect from all electronic devices, picking up a pen, and scribbling scenes or ideas or character moments. Sometimes, I'll write an entire first draft by hand and edit it as I type it up for the first time. How's that for a quirk?

Then there's my obsession with good writing music. I find it so useful when I'm particularly stuck to listen to some great music and let the inspiration flow. For me, there's no better way to engage with my emotions than to listen to a stirring piece of music.

So there's a selection of my quirks. What are yours?

Don't forget next Wednesday is Previously day! Share your writing and reading month :D


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