At one point, this notion was a revelation to me. When I first started writing, I didn’t know the difference between a discovery writer, and an outliner. That is because I just sat down and tried to write. Only later did I discover that by being aware of your approach and optimizing it for your own style would you increase your productivity. Below you will find the video from Brandon Sanderson’s lecture on discovery writers vs. outliners. He references George R. R. Martin’s version of this in his own terms, as gardeners and architects. Gardeners = Discovery Writers. They need to fumble their way around the writing because they either get joy from finding, or are afraid of not discovering the hidden connections, and nuances of what they are writing. They want to explore, and discover, and if they don’t, they will worry that they left the best stuff behind. Architects = Outliners. These folks want structure, and need it to move forward. To not have structure is paralyzing to them. They worry that they haven’t taken the time to think things through, and to connect the dots appropriately. If they move too quickly, without the schematic in place, they worry about the quality of their writing. I’ve discovered that I am some type of hybrid. Before I started writing The Magic Shop, I was a pure discovery writer. This got frustrating, and I got lost. After attending LTUE at BYU, and after having attended a few of the workshops that I have posted previously, I realized that I needed a little more structure. So, I outlined according to Dan Well’s story structure, but I left enough room for me to change where I was going. So, I had a rough outline at a super high level, and this gave me some structure – I knew where I was going, but I definitely felt like I could go wherever my characters and story took me. This worked out a lot better for me. Gardners vs. Architects

 

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