The Weird Things Writers Do

Hey guys! Like the title alludes to I wanted to ask you guys about the weirdest things you all do when getting ready, or during writing. Ex. I interview myself to get a better understand and flesh out the plot. Literally sit there and talk to myself as if I’m someone important lol. The weirder the better, and I say that only because I would hate to have eighteen mentions that we all have a tendency to go sit on the toilet or take a shower to think better.

I’m doing this for a blog that’s part of my class assignment and would like to quote those of you who respond. So if you’re okay with that then please post, if you want me to use your real name then add it.

Thank you to everyone!

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I always visualize and think of my characters and sometimes I lose sight of reality because I’m so deep in my head, one time I was driving and I started daydreaming and didn’t even know the light turned green!:joy::sweat_smile:

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I am constantly lost in my own world as a general rule, but my personal experience to what works best is a bit counter intuitive.

The less that I’m actually trying to think of what happens next, the easier it is to know.

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When I have the time alone and such, I’ll usually act out what a character would be like in real-life (all their behaviour, thoughts, unique traits), this allows me to have a deeper immersion with the character I’m writing about and help me know what their personality and ideologies are based around.

Though one of the problems is that I sometimes get too connected with the character and let my (technically their) emotions get to me. It’s all fun and games until you’re suddenly sad and bawling your eyes out because you acted out a scene where the character gets broken up with :laughing:

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God, none of these are particularly weird. I’m very disappointed in you all.

I can only write intimate scenes on my phone. Not by hand, not on a computer, only in the Notes app of my iPhone. Something about that boring yellow background, the limited options, the dull hum of the cancerous background radiation … it really gets me worked up to write some smut.

Also I need to listen to a good YouTube playlist of Halloween sound effects, like on those old CDs you’d play under the garage door to scare kids, for at least forty five minutes before I even start to get in the mood to write. Taking recommendations by the way.

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Sometimes I use personal feelings/experiences for my writing and I end up not wanting to do anything because I uncover The Bad Feels™ or I start projects, but never finish them because I don’t want to look at The Cringey Feels™.

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If I get very invested in a character, and I develop them enough, they “talk” to me in my head. Mostly just things I would imagine they would say in whatever situation I’m in.

I also have difficulty writing in the early morning for some reason. Even writing on my laptop in the afternoon can be weird—a lot of the time I write at midnight on my phone, because for some reason that’s what comes naturally to me.

Finally, I have the habit of daydreaming about the crazy ways my everyday situations could go wrong. I imagine arguments with friends and families, dramatic deaths, love confessions—and then when my daydream is done I just laugh to myself and think, “that’s a good idea for a story.”

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Sometimes I lie to myself. I tell myself if I write thirty minutes I can take a break, then go the thirty and say if I do thirty more then I can do it at that point. Ran my last 5k the same way.

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When I’m walking at the office’s yard, sometimes I exercise some mini-worldbuilding.
And then, all those characters are alive. Sparring, fishing, smithing, they’re doing stuff around me.

When one of them turns to me, I always pose up some kung fu stances and shrieks.

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I act out many tiny variations of a particular scene to find out which works best. This is particularly evident in dialogue-heavy scenes; I can spend hours talking to myself and nearby objects in an attempt to hash out the proper wording.

Also, during writing, it helps to have a couple dozen background tabs open to properly research the nuances of character behavior.

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Oh I loved this! And it also reminds me that sometimes when I go on a jog, I’ll envision my characters running from something and I’m with them.

The weirdest thing I do is that I’ll lie in bed at night thinking about something I want to be in the story, and I’ll realize a minute later that I’ve been acting out the dialogue.

Hand gestures, facial expression, appropriate tone of voice and all. And if it’s romance dialogue, you better believe that a random stuffed animal is gonna get to be the stand-in.

So yeah, if I’m deep enough in my own head, I can and will smolder at inanimate objects.

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I literally, become the characters and perform the scene, in form of a one man performance.
It went as far to the point where I forgot who I am for a few hours, I remembered once I was done with the performance.

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I create music playlists for each character with each song being an aspect of their personality. I then picture scenes and conversations based around the mood and message of the song.

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Hey, someone 'oughta shows who the boss!

I can only think of story material when I’m washing dishes.

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This is a great one. I have playlists for most of my WIPs, including old defunct ones that I sometimes want to return to “for the feels”. My CS WIP doesn’t have a proper playlist yet, but I’m working on it. It does, however, have a Pinterest board.

I make story Pinterest boards. Mostly these consist of clothing and hairstyles that I like to imagine the characters wearing. Usually in much (much) greater detail than actually goes into the story, obviously. I also include visual inspiration for setting descriptions, little bits of research, obscure historical facts that help me visualize the characters’ lies more fully… Often the boards are private so that I can pin things related to future plot points without spoiling anyone.

Since I always have several projects running in parallel, I like to cross them over with each other in my mind. Imagining my characters and their impossible meetings is very amusing. This is especially useful if you know you have a “type”, because it helps to sharpen the differences between them, and pin down how their environment affects them in particular ways. So that I don’t end up with twelve nearly identical cold-hearted, conniving political operators.

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Whenever I begin developing a project, my first reflex is to buy a notebook for said project. Putting words on paper often helps me think in a way that writing on my laptop doesn’t (or it doesn’t come as naturally). Plus, it’s easy to wipe out a notebook in the transports and drawing in them.

I’m a bit obsessive and very world/chara building-focused.

For the characters, I use Numbers (a Mac spreadsheet app) with lots of tables relating to personality stuff like MBTI, PMAI, Hogwarts/Ilvermorny houses, MTG colours, etc… Any time a character appears or is mentioned in the text proper, I put them in the spreadsheets. It’s a nice starting point to help me flesh them out when I don’t have a precise idea of who they are yet, or helps me give them even more substance. It also can give me inspiration of what relationships are between the characters and why they are like that. It also allows to watch for recurring patterns and make sure there’s a minimum of diversity amongst the characters. I also use a genealogical program to make character sheets, a program to make timelines and a brain mapping program for a more visual approaching (and also plain plot points dumping).

In one of my stories, there was so much world building that I just began making colourful tabletop rpg-like world building pdf because reading that kind of stuff often makes me want to write.

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I brainstorm the whole area and go into detail on what will happen in the future of each story. I find multiple opinions helpful and like to talk about good ideas with good creative friends.

I use to do a lot of acting so I tend to get in deeply.
I tend to walk up and down the hall or pace a room (helps me think better). I would see in my head the setting, characters and the scenario. I would then let it play out in my head on the various ways the scene can go.

I hop in and out of the character’s mindset to better understand them and what they want in this moment. I often have to rein it in as I can spend too much time in this habit and honestly I probably look strange to anyone watching. But I get a good feel on what I want to write from it.
I also “talk” to characters to see what they think on things so I can better understand them.
Honestly none of this sounds healthy :worried:
But maybe it is just the creative process or I’m kidding myself and it’s too much dissociation.

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