These days, I hope the only superstition that writers stick to is finding a place with uninterrupted WiFi, a laptop that won’t suddenly commit seppuku, and a steady supply of coffee or other liquid fuels. In fact, I am writing this right now in such a place and my luck is holding. Knock on wood.
We’ve all heard about ballplayers and their lucky socks, or gamblers with their super lucky gold piece. Maybe a race car driver with a lucky pair of gloves he wears. But what do you expect to find as luck-inducing for writers? Writer’s Relief has a nice list of what has been and how modern writers prevent bad luck from hitting their work.
My favorites include Joaquin Miller who installed sprinklers to rain on his roof so he could write to the sound of a cloudburst. Nowadays I use headphones and YouTube for long recordings of thunderstorms. Alexander Dumas used different colored paper for fiction, poetry, and articles. I use different color index cards for chapters. Okay, I tried it once and didn’t get very far before I had to scrap it and start again. Luckily there are a lot of cards in the pack.
Lucky sweaters and avoiding the number 13 are pretty common issues but J.K. Rowling never gives the book a title until it’s finished. And you should avoid giving any character the same initials as a friend of yours or they might have bad luck. Especially it the character is the villain and comes to a bad end.
Sunday’s topic will be about Characters, so why not give your character some superstitions? Bryn Donovan has a convenient list to choose from. I love that blessing a sneezer didn’t start with Christianity but came along with Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. Babies with birthmarks have past lives.
Wishing on the first start you see at night means your wish will come true. I remember my sister-in-law telling my niece this, so the girl made her wish, then said, “Daddy! I’m going to get a bike!” She couldn’t understand why the adults laughed at her. What if your heroine firmly believed that these wishes were stacking up and waiting around the future corner for her?
Owls are portends of a death or bad luck. On the night my mother died, Mike and I stepped out to the parking lot at the nursing home so her body could be prepared. While we stood in the dark, an owl hooted then swooped in front of us and away. I think that was a good sign, that Mom found her way to where her soul belonged, quickly.
Kay Kenyon shares superstitions that modern writers abide by. Caution, there are 13 of them. As for It’s all in who you know, I have known lots of publishers and agents and so far, none of them have beaten down my email trying to sign me up. I just haven’t written that perfect story yet. Meanwhile, there’s hope that as soon as I get this blog posted, I can get back to the book. Thanks for reading, I’ll be back on Sunday.