Improving My Writing

Either/Or…For Writers

What kind of writer are you? What styles do you favor? What habits do you most often repeat?
Here are my 15 Either/Or questions for writers. Feel free to answer these questions as well and tag your writing buddies!
1. Twitter or Facebook? Personally, I’m more of a Facebook person as my most common form of social media communication. I’m just starting to get the hang of using Twitter and I definitely see how helpful it can be in networking with writers and readers, especially considering the use of hashtags such as #amwriting. Twitter certainly can not be ignored, not with the number of writers and readers using it! But I have always liked Facebook – I communicate with my friends and family there and the writer side of me sometimes appreciates not being hindered by a 140 character restriction (you know us writers – we’re long-winded).

2. Type or handwrite? For a while – I’d say for my first two novels – I really preferred typing. But for my current work in progress, I greatly prefer handwriting first. It helps me stay focused on scenes and helps me keep track of what needs to happen next. In general, no matter what I’m doing, I think better with a pen in my hand – one of the signs of being a writer for an extended period of time. I’ve joked to friends that it isn’t really a pen, rather it’s my brain 🙂

3. Daytime or night writer? For one thing, I feel more alone and secure at night, partly because I am by nature a night owl. But especially for my WIP, I write at night. My novel has a lot of dark themes and it just seems fitting to write at night. I’ve tried writing a few scenes during the day, but it just doesn’t work for me. I do often type what I’ve handwritten during the day, so I can send it to my writing buddy.

4. Coffee or tea? Um, for the most part, neither. I haven’t tried coffee and so far I have not found a hot tea that I like. Although, thanks to visiting my best friend while she’s at work at a tea shop, I have found a mango iced tea that I like. But for the most part, I’m more of a V8 Splash person.

5. Desk or bed? Bed. For sure. My room is my isolated place; it’s the ideal place to work on my novel. Other things, such as this blog post, are written in the living room recliner. I do like doing some of my freelance business work at the kitchen table.

6. Music or silence? Music, for sure. I rely heavily on music to help me write scenes; it helps me set the tone needed to evoke particular emotions. For business work or blog posts I’ll sometimes have a TV show playing in another tab. Right now, I have an episode of Simon and Simon playing, one of my favorite classic mystery shows!

7. Cat or dog person? BOTH. I lean more towards dogs but at the moment, my only pets are one housecat and one rabbit.

8. Pepsi or Coke? Pepsi. The cat loves it too 🙂

9. YouTube or other? YouTube usually. I have my writing playlists on my computer files as a backup, but since I usually have writing boards open when I write, I just open YouTube for my music as well.

10. Pen or pencil? Pen. And like a lot of writers, I have a certain brand and type of pen I like to use. the finer the ball point, the better; it just seems to move easier for me. Mine is a black Uni-ball Signo 207.

11. Books or eBooks? Well, I plan to publish in both formats. But as for my own personal reading, I prefer printed books. It’s easier for me to focus.

12. Type at the end, or as I go? I type as I go. As mentioned before, my best friend is my writing buddy and I send my story to her as I go, so she can spot plot errors. Also, her enthusiastic feedback is sometimes what keeps me going.

13. Edit as I go or no? For the most part, no. I’m more concerned with just getting the first draft done. And I’m usually and under-writer, which means I often have to go back and add information. What I do frequently do is take a highlighter and pen to my notebook and make notes for myself. Things like, “explain this later,” “will need more background.” Or I point out how the character has to change and soon it will need to happen. Just to make sure I cover all my bases before I declare the story done.

14. Writing buddies or no? YES! Always have at least one good writing buddy! What is a writing buddy, you ask? A writing buddy is a fellow writer who can encourage you as you write, point out missing information and plot holes, give constructive feedback, and sometimes threaten you into writing. (Because writers procrastinate) Jenna Moreci has an excellent video on writer buddies; if you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to check it out! Be one and get one!

15. Visuals for characters and scenes or imagined? I do have imagined pictures of what my characters really look like, but it also helps me to find pictures that look similar to what I’ve imagined. That’s where my Storyboards on Pinterest come in super helpful! I create a private board for each project and collect pictures that look like my characters, scenes, pets, or even objects that have meaning to my characters. In addition, I collect scenes and pictures that could be in a book some day, I just don’t have a project for them right now. Like “Such a Character,” (people) “Such a character’s words” (things a character would say) and “Such a scene,” (places).

So there are my 15 “Either/Or” questions for writers! Make your own or use these and share it with a writing buddy! Have fun!


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