After years of struggling with the way that I write, I've come to realize that all writers fall into one of 4 writing profile categories. Understanding which type of writer you are can help you write more efficiently.
This is the type that I always admired. A linear writer writes an outline, starts at the beginning of the story on page one and writes chapter by chapter. After each chapter, she revises, gets the chapter in good shape before moving on to the next chapter. When shes done with the book, all she has to do is a read through to tweak words here and there and shes done.
The plotter is someone who loves to immerse themselves in every detail of the story. They will spent long hours getting to know their characters. They fill in long character charts that tell them everything from the hero and heroines favorite color to what they had for breakfast that morning. This is all before theyve written a word of the manuscript. Plotters love to find out everything they can about the story before they write.
The pantser is the writer who sits down at the computer and doesnt know where her story is going to take her. This is very exciting as some writers like to discover their characters the same way the reader does. Some writers feel stifled by outlines and lose interest in a story if they know too much about it. Unfortunately, if the writer doesnt know where shes going with story, she may spend a lot of time wandering about on the page while she tries to find the story.
Like the name implies, the puzzler writes their story like a puzzle, writing scenes out of order and then piecing them together to make the story whole. Puzzlers usually see scenes of the story very vividly and feel the need to write them down before they lose them. They see the beginning, the end and some of the scenes in the middle. How those scenes transition from one scene to the next is another story. Thats for them to piece together.
Although writers might favor one type of writing profile, most writers are really a combination of two of the above types. Knowing how you write can help you choose the best way to organize your writing and write more efficiently.
2007 Lisa Mondello