Tuesday, December 8, 2009

What to Expect....

When my old roommate started law school, the school had a special night to prepare the new students for the three years that lay ahead. My roommate came home with a bunch of pamphlets that reminded me of an abridged version of the book What to Expect When You’re Expecting that you give to newly pregnant mothers.

After I started working on my manuscript, I realized that pregnancy and law school weren’t the only places that needed information pamphlets. I decided to create my own list of what to expect when starting a manuscript:

*You will protect your external drive like it’s your first born child. In fact, your hard drive may become even more important than your first born child

*You will find the strangest places to write down story ideas: receipts, napkins, parking passes and maybe even texting lines to yourself from your cell phone

*You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you

*You will also find people asking you if you’re okay when you’re deep inside an emotional part of your story. You’ll have to assure them that nothing is wrong with you, but your characters may be another story.

*You will get to know the first names of all the workers at your local office supply store, as you buy mass quantities of printer ink and paper to perfect one single manuscript.

*You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out.

*You will find yourself scowling at people who have the same name as an antagonist in your story

*You will develop rituals in order to procrastinate about writing. Your writing may depend on that one special pen, the right table in a coffee shop or song on your ipod.

*You will find yourself with a new obsessive compulsive disorder causing you to hit the save button on your computer hundreds of times while you are writing after you lose a piece of your writing for the first time

*You’ll convince yourself that the piece of work you lost was the piece that was going to win you the Printz, Pulitzer or National Book Award

These are just the start of the examples I’d include in my pamphlet. I’m sure you can add more…what else would you add to the list!

13 comments:

LizPage said...

*You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out.
OMG I always get the best ideas in the shower, of course, where I can't grab my laptop
And, yes, I text myself lines that come to me.
I have this compulsive ctrl + s tick that I use whenever writing anything at all now.
Also: You find yourself ditching important things to write, waking up at strange hours to write after your characters speak to you in your dreams...I could go on for hours.

Lee Bross said...

Those are awesome!

And I have to say that visits by my characters in the shower is pretty ordinary for me now. Even the hubs thinks nothing of it when I come downstairs and say, "Guess who introduced themselves while I was in the shower?" Not even an eyeblink. What a guy! LOL

Amna said...

"You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you"

OMG! I'm not the only one...

Rachele Alpine said...

Lee, I know someone who brings dry erase markers into the shower with her because she doesn't want to loose her ideas. She writes them on the wall and wipes them down after!

VĂ©ro said...

I could totally relate to these things!

houndrat said...

Awesome! And I am so guilty of the need for special procrastination tools, lol! :)

Krista Ashe said...

Like Amna, I totally loved this one "You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you"

BUT, my all time favorite, and one I do totally all the time is this one:

"You will hear somewhere that showers cause positive ionic charges in your brain, and suddenly feel the most creative in the shower. You will start to take long showers just to try to get ideas out."

Kate said...

"You will develop rituals in order to procrastinate about writing. Your writing may depend on that one special pen, the right table in a coffee shop or song on your ipod."

--or making sure you've read every.single.new.thread on AW... :)

jen said...

oh my gosh i forgot about the pamphlets in the folder!! i actually just threw those out in the last move! ha, and they think those pamphlets do any good ... by the way, do any of the "Canary" characters dance like our former downstairs neighbor?? :)

Lisa and Laura said...

That is hilarious. I think you need to add something about eavesdropping. I'm constantly trying to listen in on other people's conversations to get good dialogue!

Paranormalchick said...

Hahahahahahahaha Too FUNNY

Kristan said...

My faves (because they are so true):

*You will act out parts of your story in the car, laughing at something a character may say, and stop when you turn and see the person in the lane next to you staring at you.

*You will also find people asking you if you’re okay when you’re deep inside an emotional part of your story. You’ll have to assure them that nothing is wrong with you, but your characters may be another story.

Not sure what else I do... I just think about my stories and my characters ALL THE TIME.

And I have a bad habit of REALLY wanting to write, at the least convenient times (like while driving, or talking with people at a party) and then NOT having that feeling when I finally manage to get some alone time with my computer. :( But of course, a writer must write anyway!

AchingHope said...

Ahahahahaha... SO true.

I totally text myself stories all
the time. I even got excited, because with pic messages you can write more.

And the one day I was walking around the mall with my mum and I was saying "Mum, I'm depressed." And she asked me why, and when I blamed it on one of my characters she just gave me a look that said "I have no idea what you're talking about." Then she patted me on the head.

My mind is going crazy, because I'm sure there's something I can add to this list. I will probably think of it in the middle of the night, groaning at how slow my brain works.