Five signs you might be a writer…or a Serial Killer

by Jill Nagel
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Is your roommate a little skittish around you? Do you stay up to the wee hours of the morning plotting? If you find yourself doing the following, you just might be a writer…or a serial killer.

1. You talk to yourself: You don’t mean to do it (you really don’t) but sometimes your ideas just can’t be contained. You need to hear how the dialogue sounds. Sometimes your mind can only figure out those pesky plot holes if you say them out loud. You end up on buses, in coffee shops and wandering around town muttering to yourself and looking a little strange. The voice recorder doesn’t help either. You may think you look like a spy, but everyone else thinks you’re a little off. Except us writers. We know.

Five signs you might be a writer - Fresh Print magazine

2. You’re always plotting: There’s barely a minute that goes by when you’re not thinking about your story (or another story, or an article, or that secret piece no one knows you’re writing, or…). You jot down ideas on napkins and paper towels. The notebook in your bag (there is always a notebook) is filled with partial ideas, sentence fragments, and character descriptions. You’re collecting information that you can use to your advantage later. You outline your story step-by-step—it’s almost as if you’re planning something…

Five signs you might be a writer - Fresh Print magazine

3. You enjoy controlling people’s lives: You are the ringmaster. Every single character will bend to your will. The words will twist and turn in any way you please. You have the power and you like it. Sometimes it can get out of hand. You find yourself wanting to manipulate other people’s stories. While reading, you think about what you would have done. While watching television, you get annoyed that they didn’t make the choices you would have. You find it hard to watch passively. You want to be in control.



4. Your browser history is terrifying: Any good writer wants to get their facts straight and Google is a great place to start. You also hesitate to let anyone else use your computer. People might misunderstand why you’ve searched “12th century torture methods,” or “untraceable poisons” a dozen times in the last month. It’s for a story! Honest!

Five signs you might be a writer - Fresh Print magazine

5. You’ve killed people: Your body count is on the rise. Of course, your pen is your only weapon. You don’t actually poison your land-lord, you just write about it. You might get attached to your characters, but sometimes it’s out of your hands. You just have to kill your darlings—with a pen.  A serial killer wouldn’t do that…or would they? Can you actually kill someone with a pen? Hold on, I think I have an idea for a story…

How to be a writer


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