I found my notebook from Polaris! Yeah! Which means that I now have lots and lots of notes so I will spread this out over several weeks. But it also means that I don't have to worry about what I'm going to post as I get back into the swing of school!
Most of you have heard of the terms "plotting" and "pantsing" but at the panel on "Details, Filler, Plot" Brandon Sanderson referenced the terms "Gardener" and "Architect" - a gardener is a pantser. They kind of just let things happen organically, planting seeds as they go, but unsure exactly how the end product will look. The architect is the plotter. They have blueprints and plans and have a fairly good idea what the finished product is going to be, though of course there are always surprises along the way.
I really like those terms. I am a mixture of those two, so maybe I'm an architect of gardens?
One of the panelists also used a quote from Neil Gaiman saying that writing is like "Jumping out of an airplane and knitting a parachute before you hit the ground." Which made me laugh because it is SO true. Whether you're a plotter or a pantser, an architect or a gardener, you are jumping out into the unknown and hoping everything makes sense in the end.
Brandon also said that the best way to learn how to plot a book is to write one that's a total disaster because you didn't plot it right. That will teach you more than going to a hundred panels on plotting or reading a bunch of books.
The one thing that was emphasized over and over (which I mentioned before) is you have to practice. You have to write. If you're in the middle of a story and realize you forgot something, don't let it slow you down. Make a note of it, go back if you can, but avoid the eternal rewrite if it's keeping you from actually finishing. MUST FINISH.
So, are you an architect? Or a gardener? Or a mixture of both?