We all had that one weird kid in our class or that one friend who is so different that he stands out like a sore thumb. Yes, they might be an alien or you have simply been friends with someone who is going to be a very famous author in the future.
Think that could not be the case? Read the weird writing facts below and be proved completely and utterly wrong! Apologies if you ARE that weird friend. In that case, read ahead and adopt one of these habits, so you can become weird and famous!
Weird Writing Facts and Habits of 14 Famous Writers
1. Take Two Years To Write The Opening Chapter Of A Book!
Zadie Smith, the author of the novel On Beauty, claims that for her, the first few pages of her novels are very difficult to write. She says: “the whole nature of the thing changes by the choice of a few words,” which is why she needed to be really careful. The rest of the novel was finished in just five months.
2. Write In Your Underwear!
John Cheever, the author of The Wapshot Chronicle, wrote many of the stories in this anthology while in his underwear. Hey, whatever works, right?
3. Or Your Spouse’s Clothes!
No, you do not need to wear a dress, though, Francine Prose, the author of Blue Angel, swears by this method. When writing, she wears her husband’s “red and black checked flannel pajamas”! It’s certainly among the weirdest writing facts and habits.
4. Merge Three Stories To Get One!
David Foster Wallace started with a story about a video that made people want to keep watching it till they died, then he moved on to another about a tennis prodigy with an idiosyncratic family.
Not bothering to complete either, he started writing about a man he’d met in rehab, which is when he realized these stories were actually part of his novel, Infinite Jest. Merging them resulted in the novel as we know it.
5. Don’t Finish What You Start!
Amerika, The Trial, or The Castle were doomed to remain incomplete for eternity. In fact, the author Franz Kafka wanted them burned. However, his friend to whom he had delegated this task, refused to do so. Consequently, Kafka had to complete all three novels.
6. Climb A Mulberry Tree In The Nude!
H. Lawrence stimulated his imagination by doing this. Won’t work for you? Try an oak or maple.
7. Write Exactly 500 Words A Day!
Ernest Hemingway, the author of The Old Man and the Sea, did exactly that. He preferred to write one page of a literary masterpiece, as opposed to more than a few pages of “shit”.
I kid you not! William Faulkner, the author of As I Lay Dying, drank a lot of whiskey to get his creative juices flowing. Now you are talking… er writing!
9. Paint Your Face Green!
T.S. Eliot, the author of The Waste Land, had multiple hideaways. At one such place situated on Charing Cross Road, visitors were to inquire only for a man known only as “The Captain”.
On coming face to face with the author, you would notice that his face was tinted green with powder. To each, his own!
10. Use Index Cards!
Vladimir Nabokov, the author of Lolita, used to write his novels on index cards. They had to be a special type and he used a particular type of pencil to write. Throw away your typewriters and laptops and invest in index cards, newbies!
11. Think Horizontally, Not Literally!
Truman Capote needed to be stretched out on his bed, with cigarette and coffee at hand. The posture apparently helped him to think. So grab a pillow and get started!
12. Don’t Learn How To Drive!
Jack Kerouac, the author of On the Road, was a teenager when he moved to New York City, consequently, he never found the need to learn how to drive. Take a leaf out of his book and go bipedal. Already know how to drive? Well, we can’t all be Kerouacs, can we?
13. Borrow Plots From Other Books!
While reviewing the work of Yevgeny Zamyatin, a dystopian novel We, Geroge Orwell liked the plot so much that he decided to borrow it! The plot focuses on a man and woman who fall in love and decide to rebel against the state. Sounds quite similar to Orwell’s novel, 1984. If he can do it, why can’t we?
14. Train Guerillas!
Stieg Larsson, the author of the Millennium series, used to train female guerrilla fighters in Ethiopia. These women were rebels fighting for Eritrean independence from Ethiopia.
After a year of teaching the squad how to fire grenades at enemy troops, the ex-soldier had to go home due to an inflamed kidney. Between T.S. Eliott’s green face paint and Larsson’s guerilla training, the world will be your oyster!
As you can see from the above writing facts, some authors were really eccentric, and yet, it didn’t stop them from becoming world famous!
Featured image: Ernest Hemingway in Spain, 1959
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