I just discovered something quirky about myself recently… I write backwards! No, not words or sentences or even paragraphs. But the whole story, chapter by chapter. I realised with my current writing project, attempting my first fantasy-action-adventure novel, that this is the third time that I’ve skipped the ‘guts’ and gone straight for the ending. I eagerly race to the end so that I can read what happens to my hero and finally get it out of my system. This is what happened…
I had a dream about a Centaur in 2009. They were at war with the human race, but for some reason one beautiful centaur stopped, and reached out to help me up because I’d fallen over. Then he took me onto a big stage and we danced. And that was it. The weirdest and most vivid dream I’ve ever had. The next day I madly wrote it down without thinking. Six pages later I had a short story on paper. I had no idea where this story came from, only that I was the vessel.
Over the next few weeks I madly wrote every day, writing a chapter a week. And before I knew it I had written a third of the story (60 typed pages). Then many challenging ‘circumstances’ happened in my life and drew my attention away from my centaur story.
Four years later, my second baby later, one film later and numerous scripts later…. I have returned to one of my first ever writing projects, The Centaur War. Still itching to get that ending on screen I decided to take the plunge and venture into the unknown. I’ve almost finished the final chapter in a matter of hours. This is the third time on a writing project I have started at the beginning, skipped the middle and jumped right to the end of the story. From there I write backwards. I find it so much easier writing the chapters in between. I also noticed that my story and characters very quickly grow and develop in unforeseen ways by using this method. New elements suddenly weave their way onto the screen. Most of the time it’s a case of “I never saw that coming!”
So it’s high time I succumbed to my unique writing quirk (maybe there’s more writers out there like me?) and write my stories backwards. I write faster adopting this unusual style.
Here’s some of my other quirks, talents or party tricks (depending on your point of view):
– I can cry on queue at the drop of a hat (love doing that to friends!).
– I can go cross-eyed with one eye. (Not sure how I can use this talent yet).
– In real life I hardly burp, but I can burp tunes. (If you could call them that… don’t tell my daughter).
– I can learn accents and lines very quickly. (Definitely comes in handy).
Here’s a famous quirk:
– Apparently Sharon Stone can not only cry on queue but she can do it with one eye. But wait, there’s more. She’s even reported to have asked a director once, “Which eye do you want me to cry from?” (that’s just freaky).
I urge you… EMBRACE YOUR QUIRK AND MAKE IT WORK!