I was watching some of the lectures from Brandon Sanderson’s class on fantasy and science fiction last night, and to my immense horror I found out I’m a gardener. Not the green thumb variety. Gardening is a term used by George R.R. Martin, because he’s one, which means a writer works by discovery.
In short, you don’t work well with outlines or a rigid structure to your writing. You develop a story through discovering or learning as you go.
That’s me. I write by discovery and I edit my stories as I go, which explains a lot. Like, why I’ve rewritten the first chapters of every one of my novels at least ten times over. And why I can only get so far in any one story and then have to go back and revise when I’ve yet to finish draft one!
Or when characters change and grow into their own persons, I have to edit my novel to adapt to those changes. And I’m constantly writing a chapter or so only to go back and edit a chapter or so.
It’s like taking one step forward and two steps back. Progress is made but it’s very slowly. And now I know why. But I’m not explaining it as clearly at Sanderson does. Take a listen for yourself. Video four deals with gardeners and architects.
You can find the rest of Brandon’s 2012 Lectures at Write About Dragons.
Image source of George R.R. Martin.