I came across this post a few months ago and saved it to read again. It was a good read then and still is so I’ve decided to share it with you all. Enjoy !
When I plunked down to write my first book, Myths of the Mirror, I was on a mission of discovery, led by the muse and sheer inspiration.
I had no plot in mind beyond a mental sketch of a couple things that could happen maybe sort of somehow. It was all incredibly vague, but what did I know? Nothing. I wrote like a woman obsessed, relishing every moment of my creative forage and traipsing along behind my characters down whatever path they chose to wander.
Halfway through my journey, a secondary character whom I was in the midst of killing off stood his ground. With the unwavering support of his companions, he argued that he should not only survive but should become a main character. Oh, okay, I said, and skedaddled back to the beginning of the book to start over. That happened a lot.
A year later, once every character had their say and did as they pleased, my masterpiece was almost 190,000 words long. Ta da! Ready to celebrate, I enlisted a couple courageous readers.
For the next two years, I peeled away words, sentences, paragraphs, scenes, and whole chapters! Deleted. Recycled. 60,000 words forever gone. I felt as though I’d been flayed.
Then an editor wielded a red pen and lopped off another 4,000. After all the anguish and suffering, I had to finally admit it – I had a much better book.
George R. R. Martin separates writers into Gardeners and Architects. Gardeners are discovery writers, planting seeds and digging around in the dirt of writing because they can’t wait to see what grows. They thrive on a process that is full of surprises and let their stories develop organically. To them, outlines feel like straitjackets, stifling the natural unfurling of character and action.
At the other end of the spectrum, Martin’s architects are outliners. Structure is key. Charts, graphs, and spreadsheets abound. Every step is planned in advance: the story’s try/fail cycles are mapped, the hero’s journey arcs through its phases, the turning points and pinches are set in stone. For outliners, the steps of each plot and subplot form the stairwells in a skyscraper. An architect has an eye on the penthouse and knows how to get there.
After my trials and tribulations as a gardener, I brushed off my hands and …
Originally posted here: Gardeners and Architects – http://wp.me/p2ujZi-6cy
Contents compiled: August 29 2015 | Copyright 2015 Moylom Enterprises