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Thinking vs. Writing: Reflections

February 4, 2012

I previously wrote a post called Thinking vs. Writing, and now that I have heard other opinions firsthand in my creative writing course, I would like to share my reflections and discoveries.

It seems to me that most people are either thinkers or writers. Thinkers are those who spend the majority of their time mentally preparing what they will write. Typically this involves developing a beginning and ending before writing commences. Writers, on the other hand, begin writing almost immediately with little thought to plot.

On the surface, it seems that more people are writers than thinkers. Whether this is actually true is difficult to ascertain. Writers tend to be more vocal than thinkers, so it appears that there are a lot more of them than there might actually be.

When it comes to the writing itself, thinkers tend to stick to a story arc while writers often meander. This results in an extensive story but with more fluff that can distract from the central issue or idea. Thinkers end up with a much more focused piece but with potentially less elaboration.

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2 Comments
  1. I guess I’d be somewhere in the middle. I do some preparations before I write, such as developing an idea of my characters are what the world that they inhabit is like. But I don’t construct some elaborate plan for the plot, I start writing and then see where my characters are world take me.

    Sometimes I get burned doing that and have to go back and rework parts of my stories, but I also think the flexibility allows me to come up with plot points and plot turns that might not necessarily have arisen if I’d tried to plan everything out first and then stick to that plan.

    Ultimately, I think, it’s going to come down to what each individual is comfortable doing.

    • I too am not 100% one way or the other. I believe they are tendencies rather than absolutes. Personally, I lean more towards thinker than writer. I always have to go over what I am going to write in my mind, even if that just means figuring out a decent first sentence.

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