Writing Styles

Over the years I’ve discovered something.  Not all writers use the same techniques to write.  Even though we speak the same language, the various writers I know all have vastly different ways of getting it done.

Stephen King in his On Writing, describes where he goes to write, and what his muse looks like.  He recommended writing in solitude, away from the television, and that his internal muse was more of a harassing asshole than the wispy pretty thing people think of when referencing a muse.  He looked something like this:

Sloppy man cartoon

Not exactly beautiful, or awe inspiring.  More of the get that writing done, or I’ll break your legs kind of muse I think.  Intimidating.

I have some author friends on Facebook who only seem to do their writing in public places.  Laptop, coffee shop, and a big mug of coffee.  To me, that sounds absolutely terrible.  I am so easily distracted, I would spend the next few hours people watching until I realized that I’d only written two sentences.

A friend of mine is going to Ireland to do his writing in solitude, near the ocean.  I’m insanely jealous.  That would be perfect.  So much inspiration.

I have a friend who uses a typewriter, and a friend who writes everything by hand in journals or on sheets of paper before typing them on her computer.  I shake my head a both of these things; not judgmentally mind you, but at how redundant these techniques are to me.  I want back ups of my files.  Copies everywhere of my work so that I don’t lose it.  I would never write any of my work by hand.  Not only do I have the handwriting of a serial killer, but can you imagine the hand cramps in sitting down to write multiple pages?  I get tense hands from writing a paragraph by hand!  Maybe that’s because I was introduced to laptops when I was 15.  I’ve been spoiled I guess.

I also have friends who post constantly about the fact that they’re writing with pictures and everything.  These don’t annoy me or anything, but it’s not my style.  I don’t want people knowing that I’m writing at this exact moment.  Pressure maybe?  Too many people keep asking me when my sequel is coming out, even after I assure them that I’m shooting for December.  Maybe it’s because I write every day.  Who wants to see a photo of that every day?  I bombard my friends enough with my author posts.  This blog will be one of them!  There are very few days where I don’t spend at least thirty minutes writing something.  Mostly the novel though.  I promise!

Here is how I operate.

My writing normally takes place between 6:00 – 7:00 am.  Lately it has also taken place during my lunch hour.

I need to be alone.  Completely alone, when everything is quiet.  I want my husband asleep, and I want my coworkers out and about away from me at lunch.  Once I’m alone, I can portal into the world that I’ve created and act my scenes out with the characters in my head.  If anyone or anything pulls my attention away, it’s like someone shook me.  I get so irritated when someone comes up and says,

“Oh, are you writing?”


“How’s the writing coming?”

Oh man, it was going great until you said something.  Now I’m back in the boring old office instead of in that awesome battle scene.  Please go away so I can refocus.  Mostly I smile and pray that they walk away.

I need the Facebook off, the TV off, and most importantly no human contact.  I can write for hours like this, until my hands get tired.

And as for my muse?  I’m not sure how to describe her.  When I’m writing something lighthearted, she’s my inner child.  That spunky, happy version of me.  When I’m writing something morbid or dark, she’s that brooding, angsty, teenage version of me with thick black eyeliner and fishnet shirts.  Is it narcissistic that my muse is me?  Not sure.  We all operate differently.

Mostly my muse is the stereotypical, whimsical, beautiful thing dancing around inside my head with awesome ideas.  As long as I write those ideas down when she gives them to me, we’re all good.  If not, then she’s a freakin nag

But here’s my point.  You might be a writer, reading this right now and think,

“God, that sounds awful.” when you read about my writing techniques.  But that’s what makes it awesome.

Just like every writer’s voice is different, so are their techniques.  I may shake my head at the way my friends work, but I realize that it’s what makes all of our writing so unique.





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