As the timeless wisdom of The Legend of Zelda says, “It’s dangerous to go alone!” So why do we writers think we can do this all on our own, anyway? Is it because a majority of us are introverts and hiss at the thought of socializing with others? Or is it because we’ve accepted that we’re societal pariahs and must brave this life alone?
Good news, my fellow writers – we don’t actually have to go it alone! A few months ago, I wrote about benefits of having writer friends, but what are your options? Fortunately for you, I’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the types of writer friends you may encounter in the wild, complete with gifs.
1) The Fanperson
They are overwhelmed with FEELS all the time. They love your characters and want to protect them at all costs. They’ll cry if you do anything to harm your characters, even if it’s just a papercut. They will often refer to your characters as a type of pastry, such as cinnamon rolls or cupcakes. They’re a good source of encouragement, especially when you’re in need of some love.
2) The Brainstormer
They are brilliant at coming up with ideas and getting characters out of tight spots. They love solving problems and generating plots. They’ll spend days and weeks mentally exploring a plot idea. They might not actually be doing much writing, but you’re grateful for their input.
3) The Encyclopedia
Who needs the internet when you have them? Alexa and Siri have nothing on The Encyclopedia. Just ask them anything, from what medieval castles looked like to how long it takes for a body to decompose, and they’ll be able to answer it. They’re probably a huge nerd, but you love them anyway.
4) The Roaster
NOT for when you need encouragement. You thought your manuscript was ready? Well you were wrong, my friend. The Roaster will drag you manuscript through the mud, tearing it apart sentence by sentence until they believe it is suitable for consumption. But they’re doing it because they love you… right?
5) The “Writer”
Every time you ask them about their writing, they always say they’ve got some big project they’re working on. It’s awesome, they tell you. But then whenever you see them at their computer, they’re watching Netflix. Sometimes you wonder if they actually have a project… but it’s the thought that counts.
6) The Melodramatic
They have two modes: EVERYTHING IS AWESOME or EVERYTHING SUCKS. One day, you’ll talk to them and they’ll be on cloud nine, so excited about their project, believing that they’re going to make it on the New York Times bestseller list, and then the next day, they’re on the floor sobbing because they think their manuscript is a piece of trash. Just be there for them, okay? They need someone to balance them out.
7) The Hopeless Romantic
Writing about a dystopian society? Romantic subplot. A sci-fi world of robots and aliens? Romantic subplot. A world that consists only of sentient squirrels? Romantic subplot. No matter what the Hopeless Romantic is writing, there will be romance. And yet, chances are, they’re single.
8) The One You Haven’t Seen In Weeks
This one is probably lying on the floor in their room eating microwaved ramen, if anything at all. They haven’t taken a shower in days. You’re not sure if you should be concerned for their well-being… but hey, they did write 50,000 words in two days, and that’s pretty impressive. They’ll probably emerge from hibernation after NaNoWriMo.
9) The Scriptwriter
Description? What’s that? Their dialogue is wonderfully realistic and it’s entertaining to read, but it happens in a void. You’re not sure who’s talking, where they are, or what the context of their conversation is. All you need are a few dialogue tags, and you’d be set. Is that too much to ask?
10) The Tolkien Wannabe
Dialogue? What’s that? This writer prefers to write paragraphs and paragraphs of description, especially when it comes to setting. They’ll spend pages talking about one specific cat sitting under a tree. They write beautiful prose, but whenever you tell them they need to get on with the story, they glare at you.
11) The Philosopher
Their favorite book is probably Looking for Alaska or some other John Green novel. They aspire to write a book that talks about teenage drama and the meaning of life and has a lot of deep, meaningful quotes that people turn into tattoos.
12) The Executioner
They could be writing the must pure, innocent story and yet no matter what happens, characters will die. And not just one character – everyone is a candidate for the reaper. Sometimes the amount of death in their stories makes you uncozy, but you should be thankful they’re a writer and not actually a serial killer.
13) The English Major
You think that their story has a huge deep meaning to it, but you can’t for the life of you figure it out. They explained it to you once, but they used a lot of big words that you didn’t understand. They’re probably just showing off their extensive literary knowledge to make up for the fact that they don’t know what they’re going to do with their life.*
*I can say this, I’m an English major.
14) The Monologuer
When you look at your manuscript, it’s just gigantic blocks of text. The shortest sentence is forty words, minimum. Reading their work is a lot like that one friend who just talks and talks and talks and talks, even when there’s nothing to say. You should probably introduce them to periods and paragraph breaks before they become the next James Joyce.
15) The Delayer
“I’m going to start my novel soon!” they say. Then, when you check in two weeks later and ask how the novel writing’s going, they look at you full of horror and say. “What novel? I’m still working on worldbuilding!” Years later, and they still haven’t started their novel. Someday, perhaps.