Wednesday, 23 November 2011

What kind of writer are you?

Leaving aside the infamous joke about binary that never fails to make me smile, my psychology teacher hammered into me that there are two types of people - reactive and proactive.

After a morning wrestling with a wickedly devious captain in one of my WIPs, it strikes me that the old adage rings true for writers as well. There are those who rigidly set out their plot and stick to it no matter or what - and those who, like me, find themselves utterly and completely at the mercy of the characters they've brought to life within the confines of their words.

Oh, don't get me wrong; I plot away furiously before I sketch out so much as the first chapter. However, as soon as I start writing my characters seem to develop ideas of their own, stubbornly refusing to co-operate with all the grand schemes I've concocted for them; and so it was today that my captain sauntered off to another country entirely with me tagging along, woefully calling after him to come back and return to London as he was supposed to do.

After a futile hour trying to wrestle him back into line, though, I gave in; and do you know what? The detour proved to be great fun and was one of the most fun parts of writing in the entire draft so far. I think perhaps that in future, instead of tearing my hair out in agitation when my little people refuse to behave, I'll just resignedly sit back and see where they run to as they bring as the intricacies of each carefully-constructed plot crashing down around them!

I guess that now makes me another one for Mr. Stanley's 'reactive' camp that he so sneeringly preached against for so long. Sorry, sir - but hey, the captain's much better looking than you. There's only going to be one winner, I'm afraid!

Kate x

PS. Does anyone else feel like a little child exacting mastery over a doll's house when they write, or is that just my twisted imagination? 

1 comment:

  1. Hehee I wish I had as much control as I did over my dolls house. For some reason with certain characters I might have an idea for them, but if they decide they want to go another way I'm helplessly dragged along, my fingers flying on the keyboard keys as I struggle to keep up with their shenanigans!

    I wouldn't have it any other way though, they've got far better ideas than I do (just don't tell them that they're fragments of MY imagination!). Anyway, I can always edit them to (not literal) death afterwards, right?