Rumor has it there are two camps of authors: ones who neatly plot out their novels or stories before they fire up their computers and those who begin with only a premise and just start typing. Personally, I’m not sure either method is more valid than the other, it’s just a matter of personal style.
Or is it?
I’m in more of the “Let’s see what happens today” category, but I think I finally figured out why. I’m impatient. I can’t wait for the pot to boil, I’m not satisfied for the cookies to bake before I have a taste, I frequently go to the grocery store without a list and I’ve been known to cut my own bangs. Furthermore, I never stop to ask for directions, although perhaps that’s just my homage to men.
For me, writing on a deadline becomes a challenge. Furthermore, I frequently have moments where I think this time I’m not going to be able to come up with a solution to a plot problem. Yes, I have several unfinished manuscripts because I wrote myself into a ditch…but I intend to get back to them sometime in the future. And each time I have that moment of self-doubt, the self-talk goes the same way:
“You always say that and then you always figure it out.”
“Not always. Remember Going Green?”
Winces. “Yeah, but this time is different.”
Fortunately, usually it works out and I turn into the stretchy guy from Fantastic Four as I pat myself on the back. Nevertheless, today I’m collecting data on other personality traits that might be connected to writing styles.
Plotters: Is it true that, like Mary Poppins, you’re practically perfect in every way? Never crammed for a test? Plan out weeks’ worth of menus at a time? Lay out your wardrobe the night before? Secretly identify with Hermione Granger?
Pantsers: Would it be accurate to say you’ve got a streak of independence wider than the Atlantic Ocean? Been known to run out of the house with one black and one brown shoe? Do you eat cookie dough raw or sample icing before it’s spread? Always admired Mr. Toad from The Wind in the Willows?
I think I know the answer, but I’d love to hear your opinion.
~ S.G. Rogers
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