Weekly Writer Wisdom: October 24, 2017

(Look for this week’s #WeeklyWriterWisdom questions after the jump.)

This Week’s Questions: Would you consider yourself an architect or a gardener when it comes to your writing process? Or maybe you’re somewhere in between? What else does this quote by George R.R. Martin make you think of in terms of writing?

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11 thoughts on “Weekly Writer Wisdom: October 24, 2017

  1. He is SUCH a nice man – I was enormously impressed when he appeared at Fantasycon and gave several talks. As for the writing process, I’d like to be more of an architect, but I fear that I am actually a gardener. What about you, Sara? I think you are probably more of an architect.

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    • That’s the general impression I had of GRRM. 🙂 Not just nice, but funny, too. I actually met him during his book tour for A Dance With Dragons back in 2011. It was during a book signing, so I only had about 30 seconds with him (because HUNDREDS of people were there!), but he was gracious and seemed very happy to be there.

      Why do you fear that you’re a gardener? There’s nothing wrong with being one. (GRRM considers himself a gardener, btw.) I think I’m a little of both: an architect when it comes to the story, but a gardener with getting to know my characters. I’ve tried to be an all-around architect, but my brain just doesn’t work that way. XD

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      • I didn’t get the chance to speak directly to him, but given how much of a fuss folks were making of him, he seemed very grounded and genuinely delighted to spend time with his fans.

        No… I’ve come to the conclusion that most people are something of a mixture – in my experience relatively few are all one or the other. The thing with being more of a gardener is that it means a lot of the heavy lifting needs to be done during the editing stage – but I think that’s just a fact of life as far as my writing goes. Thank you for such an interesting question, btw…

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  2. Ah, this quote 🙂
    Reminds me a bit of Stephen King. He’s more of the gardener too, as far I’ve heard, though he probably wouldn’t call it that 😅
    I’m somewhere between the two, I think. I like to structure certain elements of plot, but I drop seeds around as I build so they can grow in tandem. Does murder to the walls, but the foundation stays sturdy 🙂

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    • It’s so funny that you mentioned Stephen King here, Faith. There’s an interview that GRRM did with King during one of King’s most recent book tours, and the two of them were talking about their writing styles – especially how King literally churns out books while GRRM, well, doesn’t. XD I’m pretty sure it’s on YouTube. Have you seen it?

      The way you described your writing process sounds a little like mine. I like to have an initial structure, then allow myself to discover certain aspects as I go along. It’s sort of like a garden trellis. (Wow, where did that idea come from? XD)

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  3. I am a gardener. I always say I’m trying to work my way toward plotting, but there’s a huge part of me that doesn’t think that will ever be the way I write. I was quite surprised the first time I heard George RR Martin was a gardener considering his complex plots. And when I read “On Writing” by Stephen King, I felt hugely relieved that his process is a lot like mine. In a way, it gave me permission to be me as a writer and not try to be something else.
    I was listening to Sharman Apt Russell, an author from New Mexico, speak at an event recently, and she said the trick is to find the easy and natural path for your writing. Although, she wasn’t speaking specifically about the process, I think it’s included in that.

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  4. There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into categories, and those who don’t 🙂
    I generally enjoy personality typing and figuring out my best practices for work, but I try to keep the perspective that no one fits perfectly into one box. And things change. I’m more of an architect than I used to be, but it also depends on the project and the stage of the project. I’ve never liked the plotter vs. pantser debate. I feel like labels take the creativity out of the creative process.

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    • I don’t necessarily like to categorize myself and other writers, either. I just find it interesting to see how much of either side of the fence I fall onto, so to speak. (That’s an uncomfortable sounding metaphor, isn’t it? *lol*) But I agree, no one fits neatly into any one box when it comes to personality typing and so on. I realized in the past year or two that my personality straddles the ISFJ and INFJ types, and I like how I’m not exactly one or the other but rather a little of both. 🙂

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  5. I’m still trying to figure that out. I get lost in the planning and have more fun doing that than actually writing, but then I get impatient and start writing yet feel direction less despite all my planning.

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