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Saturday, October 10, 2009

How Do You Create?

By Christine Thackeray

I'm a mother of seven great kids and discovered early on that there was a definite correlation between the way my kids were potty trained and how they learned to read. My oldest struggled with both. My second son fought against the whole idea on both fronts. Then my daughter decided she was done with diapers at 11 months and was fluent at reading by the time she started kindergarten.

Well, you get the idea. I do believe that certain skill sets can clue us in to brain patterns when it comes to other activities. One such pairing might be in the way we prepare "talks" or presentations and the way we write novels.

I've noticed that some people write out every word and then stick exactly to their script without deviation. Others write a lose outline and stick closely to it while still others write out one thing and then when they get up there go off on a separate tangent completely.

As writers that may clue us into what works for our brain type. I remember sitting through one writing class on mapping and calendaring out your novel. I thought at the time that would be my answer to simplifying the writing process and quickly bought a calendar and began writing down fictional events. After hours of writing, scribbling and tearing complete pages out and throwing them across the room, I realized that technique may not be the best for me.

Personally, I do the research, write an outline and then write wherever the characters take me, knowing the basic overview but trying to be true to their personal motivations without manipulating them too much. (Can you tell I'm the loose outline type.)

My other friend plots in her head down to the detail, writes her chapters out perfectly the first time and then plots again. She is more like the person that writes out every word of their talk.

It's a nice guilt-lifter to know that we can each create differently and it may even help the emerging writer to have a better idea how to proceed if they look at the way they create other things and use the techniques that they know work.