Summer habits & facts

So it’s summertime. Anyone who knows me knows what that means. It means every night is a movie night. It means hanging out with friends in random places until the early AM. It means eating all of the food all of the time. It means screaming Ke$ha lyrics at the top of my lungs from an extremely elevated location. Preferably the top of a tree. Like a ninja. Like this guy.

Except for the fact that I am trying to finally finish a first draft this summer, in which case, I will probably look more like this guy.

Except not, because I’m nowhere near as cool as Mr. Rickman here.

This whole “having a goal” thing is pretty much throwing off my summertime groove. Instead of staying up to have yet another Star Wars movie marathon whilst mercilessly mocking George Lucas, I am staying up to write a couple crappy pages per night. I don’t really consider either one a very healthy pastime, but hey, if I’m going to do something at 2 AM, it might as well be semi-productive.

Whatever. I’m young, right? I’ve still got time to do stupid things, right? Not that I’d ever do stupid things… I mean, come on, guys. I’m half-Asian (bad joke).

In other news, I thought I’d share a few quirks with y’all about the logistics of my writing process. Just because… well, I can. Here I go. Warning you now.

  1. I have to write using a weird font. I just have to. I don’t know why. Using Times New Roman really bums me out… Why use TNR when Monotype Corsiva or freakin’ Edwardian Script is so much curlier?
  2. I also use 1.5 line spacing. Don’t ask.
  3. For most of my stories, I keep lists of “inspired by such-and-such book/movie/songs” at the beginning of the Word doc, so I can go back to them when I need a little memory refresher. For PrivateerI have:

    Inspired by: To Catch a Pirate by Jade Parker, The Princess of Thieves, Pirates of the Caribbean, “Woman” from The Pirate Queen by Alain Boublil & Claude-Michel Schönberg, Stardust, Elizabeth, The Count of Monte Cristo

  4. I usually try to outline my longer projects, and then I usually end up chucking it. I outlined Privateer very briefly when I first came up with the idea, but I’ve changed/added so many things that I’ve completely lost track of my skeleton outline. I can’t ever seem to follow my original plan; I get carried away. This is why screenwriting might be a bad idea for me.
  5. I make very very very very very very extensive writing playlists, filled with hours of music specific to the project I’m currently working on.
  6. I change my desktop background to somewhat match the scene that I’m working on, or to inspire me to write a scene that includes something in the picture. This past year, my roommate noticed this and used to comment on how my laptop’s desktop wallpaper never stays the same for more than a few days.
  7. I sometimes have pictures of certain actors or models or the people I base my characters on opened next to the Word doc when I write, because I am a very visual person. In case you didn’t get that from #6.
  8. I often write scenes out of order. Way out of order. Like I probably won’t use one that I wrote a few weeks ago for another half a year, if I use it at all.
  9. I purposely use literary devices wherever possible, because I am an English major and I just can’t help myself.
  10. I frequently take screenshots of stupid sentences that I’ve somehow managed to construct and save them for later, when I need to lighten up. Exhibit A: 
  11. I have to turn off my Wi-Fi connection when I write, otherwise, I will somehow always come back to Facebook. Even if I’m just researching. Yes, it’s actually that bad.

Enough facts for you? Me, too. Lists make me tired. That’s why I make them constantly. Because that makes perfect sense.

Samantha Chaffin

7 thoughts on “Summer habits & facts

  1. deshipley says:

    With quirks like these, how can you be anything but very creative? X)

    “Pirates of the Caribbean” shout-out! Love those films!
    I like to change up my desktop wallpaper often, too — not usually having anything to do with my novels in progress (my first NaNo novel cover being the exception).
    And one of these days, I’ll have the sense to lay off the internet while writing. But so far I justify it with the knowledge that I may have to research something critical at any moment. …or, y’know, comment on my Blog Land friends’ posts. (:

  2. Zen says:

    At one point I used to be obsessed with using all sorts of fonts, but then I relief on TNR or Cambria because it’s more practical. xD

    • samchaffin says:

      😀 Yes, I think it’s because I associate TNR with school papers/work in general, and it gets tiring to look at. In any case, I always change the font back before I show it to anyone (as much as I like being considered a totally friggin weirdo).

  3. thejaneite says:

    Haha Olan Rogers!!!! Whooohoo! He’s such an idiot! I love him.
    And mocking George Lucas late at night? Can I come and visit you?

    Okay, yeah. What writer can ACTUALLY write with Times New Roman?! I have to use at least Calibri or my mind is boxed in.
    Okay, that “inspired by” list is the greatest thing ever!!! And your taste is excellent. (I mean, you’re the only other person in the world who knows “The Pirate Queen”!)
    And yeah I chuck my outlines too. In the plan for Esmeralda, she didn’t find out that Bastian and Leopold were the same person until nearly the end, and then she gets angry and leaves and he goes after her. Yeah NO.
    I’ve never thought of doing a specific playlist for writing a specific story! I just listen to the Atonement soundtrack and I’m good. 😉
    Haha the “stupid sentences you’ve constructed” are hilarious!!! I love it! And yes. I end up on facebook WAY too much. It’s sad.
    p.s. Like a creeper I tried to find you on facebook and couldn’t…but that was when we first started talking. So I don’t know. 😛

    Any way, you’ve inspired meee!!! I’ve learned so much from you! I’m off to make my “inspired by” lists!! 😀

    (Wow that was long.)

    • samchaffin says:

      THANK you, finally, someone who has similar sentiments toward G.L.! We should call ourselves the Grand Party of George-Lucas-Should-Not-Write-Things-Please.
      And yes, of course! I should have known that you would know The Pirate Queen… you’re the Hadley Fraser fan (not to mention the Les Mis dudes)!
      Oh, we must fix this, Lydia! I will look you up on Le Book of Faces STAT.

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