Susan’s Randoms: Little Known Writing Rituals

This week, we’re discussing some unrelated writing randoms. What can I say…the humidity’s a killer out her on the East Coast, and it’s doing funny things to us Randoms. Namely, making us daydream we were in an air-conditioned IMAX theater watching the new Batman and picking Hot Tamales out of our teeth.

1) When I’m under deadline (as in, the book’s due to two days and I have 100 pages to re-write and a subplot to kill), I eat Riesens, Riesens, and more Riesens. I’m usually anal retentive, but during these 48 hours, I become oral fixated. After gaining five pounds, I switch to Fresh Mint Orbit. And, yes, I’ve been known to chew two packs in two hours. Hey, people, it’s not crack, okay?

2) I write to word count, not page number–otherwise, I start writing in 32-point font.
Seeing the tally add up on the bottom of my screen makes me feel accomplished. If I went by page count, seeing the same page for more than twenty minutes could defeat me and send me running to watch some crap TV.

3) Like Jennifer Crusie, I have to spend about 20 minutes before writing my WIP figuring out which font to use and what color my chapter headings should be. It matters, okay?

4) Sometimes, when I’m having some tough times with characterization, I sketch my characters.
It comes from my years of wanting to be a fashion designer. You know that saying, “Clothes make the man”? Well, “Fashion sketches make the heroine.”

5) Some people make playlists to listen to as they write their books; I put together a movie list.
For instance, in my next series, I’m wanting a fish-out-of-water character who later becomes a hero, so I’m rewatching Batman Begins (since Batman is definitely a fish out of water before he finds his footing as The Caped Crusader). I’m also going to be re-watching Sense and Sensibility, because Alan Rickman’s character gives me goosebumps in how loyal he is with Kate Winslet’s character. I want my hero to be that heartachingly loyal, too. Lastly, I’ve been searching TiVo for an old Shannen Doherty movie. Yeah, you heard me. Shannen. Do. Her. Ty. Brenda. Bren. Da. She starred in a real clunker that has the ambiance I’m going for in my book. No, I’m not sharing the title. Then I’ll be giving away the “big idea” for my book, and I’m not ready to share yet. It’s mine. Mine, mine, mine.




Filed under Susan's Randoms

2 responses to “Susan’s Randoms: Little Known Writing Rituals

  1. Robin

    Hmm, I think that movie idea is good. Maybe a combination of all your random ideas is better: a stack of movies, sketch pad, snacks, air conditioning, and the laptop nearby for when inspiration strikes. Really, this is a good idea. Oh, and no distractions;-)

  2. I used to write like that–laptop/TV/junk food/air conditioning back when I lived in Phoenix. Then the laptop started giving me massive headaches (stupid non-ergonomic screen) and I didn’t replace it when it ran out of juice after it’s two-year life expectancy.

    And, really, isn’t $1,000 for a two-year computer insane???

    -S., who’s looking forward to an ergonomic laptop that’s $200 and lasts for 10 years

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