Friday, November 2, 2012

Are You a Right Brained Writer?

I just finished reading the book THE PLOT WHISPERER in preparation for NaNoWriMo and one of my favorite parts of reading it was my realization that I'm a different sort of writer than I intuitively believed myself to be.

If you asked me whether I was a right or a left brained writer I would tell you without doubt that I'm right brained. After all, I'm such a visual person. I'm an artist who follows her feelings, right? But after reading THE PLOT WHISPERER, I realized that this might not be the case after all. As the author explains, right brained writers focus mostly on character driven plots while left brained writers focus on detailed, action driven plots. 

I've always known that I'm a list maker, a plotter, a planner, but I didn't realize exactly how much this influences my writing. And by far my biggest epiphany regarding this was realizing that the place I normally fall short in my novels is in creating completely believable and sympathetic characters. Sure, my plot moves forward at a rapid pace, but I've been overlooking the fact that I don't truly understand my characters inside and out.

So with this in mind, I'm really going to go forward with my NaNo WIP understanding what my strengths are as well as my weaknesses. I'm going to focus on what drives my characters emotionally. Hopefully by the time the month is through, I'll have a richer, more successful draft because of it.

What sort of writer are you?


  1. This is interesting -- I would have said I'm a left-brained writer, but plot is my nemesis.

    1. I think that's why I was so surprised. I really assumed myself to be the complete opposite of what I am. But now that I look closer it's easy to see how I really do ALWAYS fall flat on character. Plotting is the easy part for me. You probably are a right brained writer. I'll lend you the book the next time I see you. You don't have to read the whole thing. Just pick through and scan the parts about right brained writers. It might be helpful in assessing your strengths and weaknesses.

  2. I love both your brains, "Jakarta" and Kate.

  3. I was going to say right, but after reading your post, now I'm not so sure. Maybe I'll check out the book to get a better idea.