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Some Signs You Could Be A Fiction Writer

  1. You are always thinking of insane jobs for yourself that you never follow through on. 
  2. Conversations with other people repeat in your head for days after you have them.
  3. Conversations with other people repeat in your head for days before you have them. 
  4. Conversations with other people repeat in your head for days and then you do not have them because you think you already did.*
  5. You get so worked up about your imaginary conversations with people before you have them or after that you eventually have fictional emotions on which you make badly chosen life decisions.
  6. You like messing with people, a little or a lot—seeing what you can get them to believe.
  7. And yet you also will believe just about anything someone tells you.**
  8. You are capable of a near-autistic level of focus on imagined scenes in your head that you may not even be aware are playing out in your head, until someone speaks to you and by the time you tune in, you realize they’ve been speaking for a little longer than you’ve been listening.
  9. Other people randomly confess their secrets to you without warning or provocation, but you do not stop them.
  10. You create elaborate disaster fantasies that you project onto your life.
  11. You are devoted to unrequited loves like it is your job.
  12. You find yourself in situations where you think “I should probably leave”, and then you think “but if I stay five more minutes I might see something really crazy or amazing happen.” 
  13. Five minutes later, if you survived, you have the same bargain with yourself, and so on, and so on.

The leading sign, of course, is that you have ideas for short stories or novels.

If this sounds like you, consider trying to write a short story or a novel.

Updated, with thanks to *Rabih Almeddine and **Thiago Baraldi.


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Word List: Alternatives to "Whisper"
Instead of whispered, consider: murmured mumbled muttered breathed sighed hissed mouthed uttered intoned susurrated purred said in an undertone gasped hinted said low said into someone’s ear said softly said under one’s breath said in hushed tones insinuated