Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Not Normal by Angela Arndt

Would you do this to research a book?
Then you're Not Normal.
I’m Not Normal. Neither are you. 

Don't believe me?

One year, Brandilyn Collins emceed a writers conference and joked about how all the "normals" walking around the hotel didn't understand us. She said that if you walk around talking to your characters and engage them in conversation, then you are not normal.

Are you Not Normal?

Here’s the test:

  • Normals don’t keep a pen and paper by the bed to write down great scenes that comes to them just as they’re falling asleep or at 3 a.m.
  • Normals don’t eavesdrop at restaurants to get dialects or phrases to use in projects.
  • Normals had rather watch TV/shop/read/go to the game/breathe than write. 
  • In fact, Normals hate to write.

If none of these apply, then you’re Not Normal. This is good news! Many great writers were Not Normal either.

  • Charles Dickens’ bed always had to face north and he sometimes slept in the streets. He also combed his hair hundreds of times a day.
  • Edgar Allen Poe had a habit of writing on scrolls, long strips of paper glued together with wax, rather than individual sheets of paper.
  • Agatha Christie didn’t have an office or a desk. She wrote where the mood struck and didn’t necessarily write scenes in order either.
  • Stephen King writes 2000 words a day, every day -- no adverbs allowed.
  • James Joyce wrote in bed, on his stomach while Virginia Woolf wrote at a standing desk.
Here's one more test for you: if you hear bad news and wonder how you can work it into your novel. you're probably Not Normal. (Keep in mind, some of these could also be considered not normal to those of us who are Not Normal.)

So the next time your friend’s eyes glaze over when you’re telling her about your book remember that she’s a Normal. She’s not like us.

Angela Arndt
Not Normal
My thanks to my fellow Overcomer and craft partner, Stacey Zink, who reminds me weekly that I shouldn't expect normals to understand.
About the Author
Angie is represented by Joyce Hart of Hartline Literary Agency and is currently working on a series of novels set in small Southern towns. In addition to being Not Normal, she's very blessed. She and her husband live in the middle of a big wood outside a small town in South Carolina. She would love for you to visit her website, at http://www.angelaarndt.com.

15 comments:

  1. Ah, that last explains my husband when I talk to him about writing! Charles Dickens sounds like he was OCD, Edgar Allen Poe created a Word document, and Agatha Christie would have loved Scrivener. :) Thank you, Angie, for confirming that we are not normal!

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    1. Honey, I know what you mean! He tries, but his eyes just start to glaze over. LOL! Love that! I'm sure all that's right.

      You're welcome! Thanks for the laugh this morning. :)

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  2. Thanks Angie for your wit and humor. Spot on! I brought this up at a fiction writers meeting recently and asked if people actually saw their characters around, and was approached by surprised people saying, you do too? Fun.

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    1. Exactly! When writers get together there's no tell what the topics will be. And it's such a relief to talk to someone else who "gets it."

      Thank you so much for your comment!

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  3. Great post! I like to think of us as quirky lol.

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    1. We are just a wee bit, aren't we? :) Thanks for the comment, sweet friend!

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  4. Uh oh, our secret is out. ;) Fun post, Angie! Conferences always make me bold. I end up talking to random people airports who haven't just come from a meeting of 500 or so like-minded abnormals. For this introvert, that's not normal. And from the looks on some of their faces, they aren't seeing normal either. ;) Write on, friend!

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    1. Yes! (And this has been like a mini-conference: all us "not normals" coming out of the woodwork.)

      Sweetie, that's beyond "not normal!" That's down right brave! You, too! :)

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  5. Two great post in a row! :) Here's to all of us "not Normals." I love us, one and all!

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    1. Thank you so much! Yay! I'm so glad you like it. :) Yes and yes! So glad we can be "not Normal" together!

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  6. i was at a workshop this morning for pre-surgical patients (knee replacement.) one of the other ladies there was chatting with a couple, and she asked the man if they lived in a town nearby and if his wife's name was (can't remember.) the (new) wife answered, that no that was not his wife's name, and they had a good laugh.
    of course, i jumped on this conversation and told them i'd have to work that into a plot in a story one day!!! new wife, old wife, nosy neighbor.....

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    1. That would be great in a book! And yes, perfect example! Love that, Robin!

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  7. OH! Boy! I'm so glad I read your post. Hi, I'm Shelley, and I'm a Not Normal! I sleep with a notepad and pen by my pillow in case I get a great idea for a story or scene in the middle of the night, I love to write and would rather do that than anything. Thanks for the confirmation. Great post! ;-]

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    1. Yes! We are kindred spirits! I would, too! Thank you so much for your comment and the confirmation that this post wasn't too far "out-there." (It was hard to press "Send" on this one.)

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  8. Love this post, Angie! Sometimes I get so caught up in my "characters" conversations or resolving a plot point that I totally miss the real life conversation. We need a pause button. :)

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