As I get more involved in the world of writers, I have learned that writers tend to approach their work very differently. One would think it’s a straightforward process, but creativity comes to writers in different ways all ending with a similar result of a finished article or story. Similarly, as a studio artist, I can vouch that creating a work of art has very much the same processes as writing leading me to believe that differentiation in the creativity process is common, however how one approaches it may be less so.
I have attempted to classify writers into five different categories. Which one best describes you?
The correct as you go
This writer starts at the beginning of their story, often writing in chronological order in sync with their storyline. They frequently use a dictionary, thesaurus and other writing tools during the writing process and are quick to correct notable mistakes right away as they type along.
When they return to their work-in-progress, they often go back a few pages, or perhaps even start at the beginning of the work, correcting and re-correcting as they go. This whole process is repeated numerous times during the writing process but the editing does not stop when the work is completed.
The Story Dumper
Writers in this category dump all of their thoughts out without batting an eye, paying no mind to paragraphs, punctuation or spelling. Their goal is to get their ideas down quickly and efficiently with the notion they are able to go back and edit everything at a later time.
There is a satisfaction and sense of freedom to being able to write without worrying about anything but the central plot.
The Ending is the Beginning
Some writers know exactly how their story will end, and are able to begin writing with their ending; essentially working backwards through their work. These writers have a solid idea how they would like their story to conclude and once it is written out, the other scenes and details fall into place.
Have you ever been daydreaming and the perfect idea or scene comes to you? Jumper writers have the unique ability to go back and forth within their work, adding and deleting scenes where they see fit. Once scenes and story lines are written, they can be connected at a later time through the editing process. These writers tend to write in portions, and have no trouble seamlessly connecting everything into a cohesive work.
Ah, the list makers. Every good novel begins with an outline…right? Maybe so for this group of writers who meticulously write out an outline of events before their work is even started. They may even write a list of character names and traits so they can easily refer back to it during the writing process. Being well organized isn’t a bad thing!
And so there you have it, a categorization of writers, with none being better or more efficient than another; just different ways of approaching writing.
So what type of writer am I? Definitely a correct as you go. I have a general idea of my story in my head, though it changes as I write. I tend to start at the beginning and work my way through even if I have an idea for a later scene. Forget about spelling and grammar errors, I have to correct them as I go. I just have to! Of course, I always miss a few and those will be picked up in the final editing process, especially if autocorrect has done something horrid that I don’t pick up on right away.
I also tend to re-read my work from the previous day. I find going back helps me to maintain my character’s integrity and make sure I have kept with the story line. I also re-arrange sentences as I go or delete them if they do not work as I wish. Going back and reading also helps me develop new story lines and connect ones I have already written.
Perhaps you fall into one of these writing categories, or maybe you fall under a few. The writing process is unique to everyone and it’s the end product (novel, article, script) that truly matters in the end. Happy writing everyone!