September 11, 2017

Sometimes Gardening Gets Messy


There are two types of writers: Gardeners and Architects.

The Architects start out with a detailed outlined and character profiles before they even start a rough draft. The frame work goes up first, then the pretty prose is built on top of that. The benefits of outlining are that the writer knows everything that will happen ahead of time which really helps combat writers' block. Architects are more likely to tell you that their method is the 'correct' method. They might be onto something.

Gardeners plant a seed, give it lots of water and sunshine, then watch it grow. They start out with a vague idea and go straight to the rough draft. This can lead to a messy story that needs a lot of pruning later on. On the plus side, it can lead to a really organic and spontaneous story. On the down side, the editing is a bitch.

If you've read my post on planning, you'll know I err toward the Gardener mindset. Since my novels are character driven, I want the freedom to let my characters do whatever they might do. However, on my current work in progress, this means that I've spent so much time with my characters, I forgot to throw some serious obstacles at them. I mean, their home planet is deserted, the main character sees dead people, and the spaceship broke down. That's definitely not enough.

The moral of the story is that I have to go back and rewrite the second half of act one. However, that does mean more time writing, so I'm not particularly unhappy about it.

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