Some writers excel at spontaneously writing any ideas that pop into their minds. On the other hand, some approach writing in a much more methodical way, planning every step of the process. The first type of writer mentioned is the “gardener”, while the second one is the “architect”. These styles seem to conflict with each other, but is that really the case?
This type of writer relies a lot on his emotions to write, allowing them to do the work for him. As a result, they generally end up with pretty exciting and fresh content.
An example of an excellent gardener is Stephen King, with his countless horror stories.
If they feel inspired, they might spend hours writing, but the opposite is also true. When feeling down, they will certainly have trouble recreating those cool and colorful stories.
More often than not, they create great characters by putting themselves in their character´s own shoes and approaching the story from a much more human perspective.
Another important aspect of this type of writer is how they organize their work.
As a result of going at it when and how they feel like it, their stories tend not to have a very well delimited outline. This allows for a much more flexible storyline in which he can pick up any leftover plotlines that were left unfinished at any time and complete them.
This allows for very engaging stories with plenty of ups and downs, but it may also result in some amazing letdowns. So, a gardener always has to keep an eye open unless they want to risk the possibility of completely missing the point of the story.
This type of writer, oppositely, has a much more planned approach for writing. Rather than writing as words come to you, an architect plans ahead and thinks what and how he is going to write something.
One good example of an architect is J.K Rowling, author of the famous Harry Potter book series.
Before starting to write they tend to spend a good amount of time thinking about how they are going to structure their work.
They might think about their characters first, how they wish to describe them or give them more depth. Same with the setting and main plotline, an architect always takes some time to think through what he will write instead of going straight to work.
This approach makes them very compatible with writing tools, such as LivingWriter. With features like Story Elements and the Board, architects can have all the freedom they want to manage and configure their story exactly how they want to.
All in all, their pieces are very well structured and usually well made, although there are also some shortcomings to this style of writing.
First, the resulting story could feel very rigid, especially if the architect spent more time thinking about what to write instead of actually writing.
Secondly, if their approach is more objective rather than subjective, the story might also lack a bit of emotional impact.
What’s the Best Type?
As explained before, both types of writers have their pros and cons. The gardener can produce exciting and emotionally charged stories, but he might also leave out plenty of important bits and focus too much attention on a single part of their story.
Instead, the architect makes excellently structured stories with a very solid delivery, yet with the caveat that the story may not resonate much with the readers in terms of excitement or emotions.
At this point, one might start to wonder which of the two is the ideal type of writer, and the answer is that it depends.
The thing is, no one is “hardwired” to be a gardener or an architect. One can very well write a story with a creative approach and then write another one with a very structured and well-thought-out storyline.
It’s not a matter of how you write, it’s about what you are going to write. You certainly might be more inclined to one style than the other, but the limitations of what you are trying to write also play a big role in how you approach them.
For example, if you are going to write a story, say, a novel, it’s perfectly fine to go at it with either style. But when going for more academic work, like a political article or even a thesis, you definitively have to think about what you will write and put greater emphasis on its structure.
And so, it’s certainly better to consider all factors before choosing what style to use instead of thinking that one of them is absolutely better than the other.
At the end of the day, what matters most is that you write however you feel most comfortable. Outside of situations in which you have no other choice, it’s definitively wise to stick to the style that lets you feel more freedom when writing.
On this note, take some time to reflect on what style suits you the best, and when you find the answer, polish your technique, and let it shine.