Earlier this week (November 3rd), the first book in Pintip Dunn’s new series was released. It’s called Forget Tomorrow and it is a YA Dystopian. I read this book in October, and, I gotta say, I loved it. You can check out my review here!
Today Pintip is here to tell us about her writing process and quirks!
All writers have quirks, right? I have plenty, from drinking cases of Perrier to throwing away my entire first draft to setting timers to checking in obsessively with writing partners for word sprints. But perhaps my biggest “quirk” is that I write my books on my cell phone. The entire book. From brainstorming to first draft to revisions. And I’ve done so for my last four books now.
Why? It’s not because I want to — although there are some advantages to having your writing with you everywhere and all the time. But it’s because this is the best solution I’ve found for my physical condition.
Let me explain. My junior year of college, my hands froze. Not good-God-the-library-is-cold froze. Not even what-on-earth-do-I-write-next froze. I mean my hands physically froze, as in the muscles from my neck to my shoulders to my elbows to my forearms locked up, so that I couldn’t move them. And they stayed that way for a week. I couldn’t brush my hair. I couldn’t bring a fork to my mouth. All I could do was lie in bed, terrified that my life was never going to be the same again.
And it wasn’t.
I was eventually diagnosed with fibromyalgia/RSI. The only way I got through college and law school was to hire a typist and take my exams orally. (I even took the bar exam orally). To this day, I can’t type on a keyboard or lift heavy things without considerable pain.
For about a decade, I relied on voice recognition programs, such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, in order to write. I hated it. Sure, I became adept at dictating, but the technology isn’t perfect, and I wanted to throw my computer out the window on countless occasions. Plus, my brain is just naturally more connected to my hands than my mouth. I want to write my words, not speak them.
Sometimes, the accommodations I had to make in order to write were downright comical. During one severe flare-up, I was flat on my back for six months, as the pain was too intense for me to hold up my head and shoulders. I didn’t want to stop writing, so I laid under a glass coffee table, with my laptop face-down on the glass, dictating into my microphone. I’m pretty sure I looked ridiculous — but this is how I wrote the first novel that I queried.
And then I got my first smart phone in 2010! I was the happiest girl in the world when I discovered I could type on the phone’s keyboard, if it was locked in portrait position, without pain. Finally, I could “write” again the way that I wanted. Silently — and with my hands. (Incidentally, even in landscape position, the keys are too far apart for me to manage without hurting myself).
This is how I write today, and I absolutely love it. In fact, I’m not sure I would go back to a laptop, even if I could.
So there you have it! My biggest writing quirk! What about you? What quirks do you have when it comes to writing or reading or getting things done?
Pintip Dunn graduated from Harvard University, magna cum laude, with an A.B. in English Literature and Language. She received her J.D. at Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the YALE LAW JOURNAL. She also published an article in the YALE LAW JOURNAL, entitled, “How Judges Overrule: Speech Act Theory and the Doctrine of Stare Decisis.”
Pintip is represented by literary agent Beth Miller of Writers House. She is a 2012 RWA Golden Heart® finalist and a 2014 double-finalist. She is a member of Romance Writers of America, Washington Romance Writers, YARWA, and The Golden Network.
She lives with her husband and children in Maryland. You can learn more about Pintip and her books at www.pintipdunn.com.
Thank you Pintip for appearing on Fuelled by Fiction today and sharing your writing story! Don’t forget to check out my review of her latest novel, Forget Tomorrow.
Beth is the founder and editor of Fuelled by Fiction. She is a twenty-something east coast Canadian girl who loves writing about books and feminism.