Sunday, June 11, 2006

Every Teen Writer Needs...

I had the idea for this list, and got several of my friends to contribute to it.

To be a successful teen writer, you will need:

1) A favorite pen, preferably customized with an engraved name, or an animal sticker
2) A very elegant notebook you are too afraid to write in
3) A notebook you /aren't/ afraid to use. And have open. Near the computer and phone.
Gum. Lot’s of gum. Oodles of gum.
4) A Beta. Someone to confide in.
5) Your beta's phone number on speed dial. Or memorized. Whichever is fastest.
6) Some type of fuzzy animal, cat preferably, to whom you can whine when your characters are being annoying
7) Hidden chocolate bars
8) A Magic 8 Ball, to help answer such questions as, “Should I kill off Bob the Sub-Character?”
9) A slinky
10) A good, worn pair of sneakers that can be slipped on in a hurry to go out walking
11) A typewriter. You don’t necessarily have to use it, but it’s something fun to contemplate.
12) A book of art for inspiration, preferably one of people
13) A dictionary (Good for random flipping)
14) An elaborate thesaurus, to come up with synonyms for ‘said’. Also useful to alleviate boredom in trying to find a synonym for ‘synonym’.
15) A Baby Name book, for naming characters
16) The Book, “Lanterns and Lances”
17) Post-It notes, for writing down such trivial things as plot details, grocery lists, and agent’s phone numbers
18) A CD player with a mix-tape of inspirational music.
19) A bookshelf, stocked with favorite stories and authors
20) A digital camera, so you can have a low-traffic blog like this one.
21) A list of people you know who look like your favorite book characters.
22) Someone to tell you you’re a good writer when the reviews are bad, and someone to deflate your head when the reviews are good.
23) Straws, because you’re too young to buy cigarettes
24) Numerous half-drunk (or half-un-drunk) room-temperature water bottles
25) A window with a view of something. Anything. Brick walls to cemeteries to skies. Anything.
26) Tragedy. Yours or others. Random gossip will work, too.
27) A Library Card (Who will trust a writer without a library card?)
28) A calendar
29) A subscription to word-a-day (this tends to really make you think)
30) A secret stash of Jelly Bellies, particularly the nasty-ass coffee flavored ones, because they make you feel special and cool and avant-garde, which makes you want to write more (but you have to have all the other flavors handy to wash out the nasty-ass coffee taste afterwards)
31) Something that smells like lavender. Doesn't matter what.
32) An addiction. It doesn't matter what it is--Zoo Tycoon, 24, potatoes, some video game... anything that makes you feel really good when you say, "Know what, I think I'll write instead of indulging in my addiction today," because that always makes your writing better, and you're more likely to write if it means you're spiting yourself by doing it.

(All of these requirements are currently in use by my fellow writer friends and I, and we're awfully successful, don't you think?)


azuradec said...

this is great!
(i just found your site)

Jaden said...

Haha, this is so true.

You forgot the book "A Dictionary of Phrase and Fable", though. It's invaluable for coming up with cool names, and not just for fantasy books.

- Jaden