by Kirsten Scott
I wasn't sure how to follow up my blog about underpants, but then I stumbled into work Friday morning, only to see...my doom.
The donut fairy had arrived.
Now, the donut fairy isn't particularly reliable, but boy is he adored. With a single stroke of his wand, he severs any tenuous grip I had on my diet. Coffee and a donut? Friday morning? Are you kidding?
I don't have a chance.
I've got plenty of bad habits. I bite my nails (cuticles, too). I forget to check my voicemail and irritate my husband who left me a VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE. I spend too much money on clothes. And I slow down my first three chapters with backstory.
Yes, writers have all sorts of bad habits. We use too many adverbs, forget to give our characters unique voices, recycle plot lines from other books we've written (or read)...sometimes even (horrors!) dangle our modifiers!
I think identifying bad habits is a significant step to beating them. Knowing my backstory problem, I usually let myself go in a first draft, and then return later and ruthlessly excise at least half of what I've written. I know better than to try to save it. It was fun, even necessary to write, but it must go.
I haven't learned how to avoid the donut fairy, but I do know that I'm less likely to have a donut if I had a good breakfast. So I scarf down my bran flakes, steel my courage, and try to resist the bounty.
This is just my way of fighting, but I know there are others.
So tell me--what are your bad habits, writerly or otherwise? Can you share any tricks of the trade to fight the adverb fairy, the Starbucks fairy, or most importantly, the donut fairy?