Ashana Lian's Fantasy Lab

Fantasy and Fantasy Writing from every angle: fantasy and sci-fi novels, films, artwork, superhero cartoons, children's and YA books, manga, anime, video games and comics. Put the microscope on 'Geek Culture'.

Thursday, 22 January 2015

Reader Writer OCDs

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder? I have it.

My most prominent OCD is hygiene. There are certain things I can't do or touch, and I go crazy if somebody puts something from 'outside' (like a shopping bag) on 'inside' furniture like the rug in my room where I walk with my bare feet just before bed. O_O NO. Do not do that. e_e

But don't even let me get started on my books...


1. I do not break spines, ever.
Unless it can't be avoided, for example if the book is short and fat it's really hard to read and not break the spine.

2. Never. Fold. Corners. Use a bookmark or index marker.
The only problem is... if the index markers fall out then you have to write the number on them and then a short thing becomes a long-winded process. O_O

3. I always put books in a carrier bag before putting them in my bag.
- to stop them getting battered. This is why my brother can't borrow my books any more. He shoves them in his rucksack, and when I get it back (falling apart) it's not how I gave it to him (pristine).

I used to read in the bath but bathtub is now my personal mindfulness/meditation/think about my future time, so no books allowed. Plus I HATE when books get wet and crinkly.

5. I shouldn't eat and drink while I read, but...
Let's be honest here. I do that ALL THE TIME. It's a bad habit, actually.

My book-care standards is what makes it awkward when people wanna borrow my books. I WANT them to borrow the books - I have so many, if no-one else enjoyed them it would feel like a shame. But I also don't want anybody to treat my babies - er, I mean my books badly. Also my friend gets kind of nervous borrowing books from me, which I feel a tiny bit guilty about.


1. Finish. The Scene.
Apparently, this actually hinders your flow. They always say - finish in the middle of a sentence so you can pick up where you left off! And I think, "Are you crazy?!" My biggest fear, being someone who had so many ideas, is to forget what I wanted to write. I ALWAYS finish my scenes before I stop, even if that means I don't get back into the flow of writing for another three weeks.

2. Typos galore
I can't touch type, I just type in this really shoddy, messy way that I've been doing since secondary school. When I was young, I believed people naturally learned touch typing when they got older and practised. Now I know that was an embarrassing lie, I type like a madman to capture the scene in my mind before it fades, and if I write that way I can't go back to fix typos immediately. So my drafts are almost always typo rich.

3. Post-it Notes
My long-time habit for writing things that pop into my head is... no, not a notebook, despite having enough notebooks to start a shop. It's scrap bits of paper, and post-its. I always forget to type them up or copy them into a notebook, so as a result many of my precious ideas float around my room for ages and probably get lost. This, of all my writerly habits, I hate the MOST.

4.  I Abandon Planning
I begin a novel with the Concept. I create the Characters, Era, Setting. Then I GO GO GO. If I don't start typing immediately after this, chances are whatever sparked that creative drive for that idea will be lost. I only slow down and start planning it once that initial bit is down. That's just how my motor works.

5. There is only ONE CORRECT notebook
It took me years to figure out how I wanted to plan my books and scribbled ideas, charts and maps. There's this particular notebook I love that I've had since secondary school - It's an A5 ruled 'office book' by Oxford. I have one in red for older fantasy ideas, purple for my sci-fi stories, green for epic fantasies like Que$t and blue for... haven't decided yet. But actually I've learned that I can plan my novel best if I have PRECISELY THIS
- A4 notebook
- plain/blank/not-ruled
- hardback if possible
- spiral-bound if possible
- pretty cover. That's a must. :3
This is hard to find, so I end up buying scrapbooks or sketchbook instead. Perfect.

By the way, Fiction Friday will probably start up again in February. I need to keep my skills sharp... if that's even a thing that can happen. O_O

Ashana Lian .

Do you have any reader-writer compulsive habits? Comment below!


  1. "I do not break spines, ever."

    So I had put this tab aside and so I flipped back to it, and wasn't even paying attention to what I was looking at, and that sentence just popped out at me and I felt so grotesquely interested in a discussion about what parts of people's bodies you DO break. But that didn't happen.

    I don't share many of your OCDs, but I used to have the separate notebook syndrome! Now I don't. XD I still understand, though. :)

    1. Hahahahahehehe laughing soo hard! "I do not cause bodily harm to peopleses bodies, ever!" Ooo that reminds me, I became interested in martial arts as a hobby and exercise recently and thought, 'Maybe I should join a class!' But even then, somehow I don't think I will be breaking arms and legs, haha.

      I wonder how other people would think of my almost extreme book-care - do you think I'm just crazy?!! (A little bit?) I know another blogger likes to hold the book she's reading in one hand, so she bends it RIGHT back and snaps the spine (BOOK spine =] ) right in half. I was like D= pretty horrified but at the end of the day, I can't mind too much what other people do to THEIR books. Just to mine. e_e

      Thanks for commenting, Heather!


    I am loaded with compulsive habits, it's a little bit worrying sometimes. I have this thing where I need the placemats on the dinner table to be straight. I'm always straightening them. >.> And my desk is always messy but my floor HAS TO BE CLEAN. I also have to go for a walk/run in the morning or my day is totally ruined. See?! PROBLEMS.

    I have lots of writing I ALWAYS write on a plain doc with 11 font in Times Roman. I never write double spaced but I always edit double spaced. I've tried writing in Arial before and omg, the entire book FAILED.

    1. Oh wooow, me too. O_O I'm always tidying the floor so my room APPEARS more tidy (and so I can hoover it), but I end up just moving all the mess to my desk! If I don't exercise first thing in the morning, there's a 99.9% chance I won't to it at any point later in the day.

      I usually get used to whichever font I've chosen to write in (Calibri, Times New Roman, Verdana). But for OOTD/ Karalan's Legacy, I'm writing in Arial because I think for manuscripts it's widely accepted by publishers. I thought, might as well. I never write in double spaced, except in university essays! Thanks for commenting Caitoki.

  3. OMG YES!!! HAHA! Your reader ones are what I do too. I get nervous about people borrowing my books, just because I don't think they will treat them right. I don't ever crack my spines, it would kill me to do that. I carry a book with me at all times, but I always put it in a carrier bag first. I am very OCD when it comes to my books, it's a real problem.

    1. I know!! I feel bad though. I want to share them, but if I'm getting it back I want to get it back in near-mint condition. Insane expectations! You do the carrier-bag thing too-!? I thought I was the only one that did that, lmao. Thanks for dropping by!


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