A thought occurred to me the other day when I was talking to my friend and fellow author Genevieve Raas (Her upcoming novel, Spin, is incredible! I am so smug to have read an advanced copy!). She and I were sharing our writing challenges and successes, and I was baffled by the differences in our writing methods.
Indeed, sometimes I forget just how wonderfully diverse the writing community is. Writers come in many forms, and their processes for spewing their ideas onto the screen are wonderfully unique to each writer. Even individually, we may switch from one method to another in our writing process. I have used many approaches with varying success in my writing process and have found that each one has serious merits and potential pitfalls as you write.
Based on my assessment of the writing community, a purely biased and anecdotal assessment with no science whatsoever, there are several types of writers when it comes to writing process. Here’s the first one:
The Control Freak
Strengths – The Control Freak is amazing at designing a plot that contains all the right ingredients for success. He or she will have an outline of at least five thousand words, complete with character bios and a history of the book’s setting. This type of writer knows what’s up with his or her sub plots and takes care to include measured amounts of thrill, romance, and intrigue. The Control Freak is unlikely to be distracted by new book ideas unless they are spin-offs of his or her main series.
Weaknesses – The control freak leaves little room for flexibility. This means that if the characters begin to develop differently than planned, the Control Freak will either grow frustrated and toss the whole project or worse– will force the characters into following their pre-destined plot which feels out of character and rigid now that it’s on paper. Also, Control Freaks sometimes have difficulty getting to the actual writing part because they are avid planners and don’t want to begin a novel unprepared.
Are you a control freak in your writing? Share your struggles and triumphs! I have had my control freak moments in writing– many times I have to urge myself to be more deliberate like my control freak friends because my plots have gone off the deep end yet again. There are true strengths to this approach, and I think we can all learn a lot from it! Just don’t be afraid to go where the story is taking you, even if it goes against your plans!
Don’t identify much with the control freak? In the next couple of weeks I will be featuring different types of writers and their unique strengths in the writing process.