Being an author is an interesting conundrum. We may appear perfectly sane and yet we have these very strange quirks.
For instance. Authors have voices in their head. Yep. We do. Of course, they are usually the voices of our characters and when we laugh ourselves silly when nobody is around its because one of our characters just said or did the funniest thing…at which point our laughter is usually followed by a frantic dig through our briefcase or purse looking for a pen to write that down or a recorder to record it into.
Or there’s the calm stare at perfect strangers as we try to place them within a scene we have going on. Yes, we are staring at you. No, it’s not what you think.
The glazed look is normal. Many times you might catch us staring off into space. It’s perfectly fine. I promise. We’re watching our characters go through something and trying out different options to see if they work. It’s kind of like watching actors on a stage. The only difference is the actors are in our imaginations and the stage is, well…anywhere.
Talking to ourselves. Believe it or not, that’s okay too. We are probably arguing with one of our characters. The conversation might sound a little like this: (You would only hear the parts in bold…now you can hear the whole conversation…though I don’t know if that will make you feel any better.)
“But you can’t do it that way.”
“Because it isn’t logical.”
“Whoever said jealousy was logical!”
“But hitting him over the head with a baseball bat…that’s so boring. Couldn’t you use a dish, or even better, that horrible figurine you two bought on your last vacation. You know the one…it has three stomachs and-“
“But I like that statue!”
“I don’t care. Use it. It will make a great scene with his blood covering all three stomachs. Maybe one of its eyeballs could end up between his…”
Yep. We live in a different world.
And then…there’s the social network conundrum. You have no idea how much authors hold back. We may write “Yeah! I saw that one. So insane!”
But what we stopped ourselves from writing was the automatic narrative that went on in our head. Something akin to: ‘she said, flailing her arms about, gesticulating so insanely that she pushed her earphones off the desk and knocked her Pepsi over.’ Not that I’ve done that…okay, so maybe I have. Once, twice. Okay, a whole load of times I’ve stopped myself from writing the narrative. I only knocked my Pepsi over once, though, due to over-gesticulation. However my earphones have taken a nosedive many times due to excessive flailage.
You should be impressed that we hold back some of the more insane stuff.
Erotica writers have even more quirks:
The soft blush – never mind us. Our characters are getting naughty in our heads and we’ve somewhat tuned out on reality as this is much more interesting.
The fan movement – Is it hot in here? He’s fingering her and licking her clit and, wait, why are you looking at me like that?
The raging blush accompanied by faster breathing – Are you jealous yet? Yep, it’s better than porn, people. My characters are so wonderfully naughty. You should see them! She’s lying on her front and her legs are tucked underneath her and he’s about to…OMG Don’t you wish you were me?
The lurid grin accompanied by the usual phrase of “excuse me for a moment”. Yeah, we need to use the bathroom to go relieve the pressure…though not in the way a normal person might. Hey, an author’s gotta do what an author’s gotta do. And if you had just seen Darnelle sucking off Frank who was fingering her ass while Kevin plowed into her cunt? Well, you’d be on the way to the bathroom, too.
So, find out who your author friends and next time you see something strange, chalk it up to author quirks. After all, the phrase “And he stabbed her fifteen times? Are you kidding me? That seems a bit excessive,” spoken in a normal tone of voice probably means they are trying to figure out their next chapter. Not something scary. And if your author friend is an erotic author? Offer to pre-read their stuff. You know, just to be a good friend and all that 😉
Just imagine the kind of things that come out of Stephen King’s mouth….