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Photo created by Aaron Burden, used under a CC licence.

My high school creative writing teacher gave the class a lecture one time about the two types of writing processes, “classical” and “romantic”.

He advised that writers with a classical process are highly structured, create detailed outlines, and develop their plots and characters fully before they start drafting.

He opined further that writers with a romantic process, write (only) when the spirit moves them. They often draft scenes outside of chronological order. Their characters and plots develop organically, sometimes in directions the writer did not anticipate.

This bit of advice was then (and is now) horseshit.

Every writer I know uses some combination of classical and romantic elements.**

What’s more, having that dichotomy in mind messed up my process. I felt like I was doing it “wrong”, which contributed to long periods of not writing.

From my perspective, any writer’s process can be like a frozen soap bubble- something lovely to look at, but also something that can be easily destroyed by a probing finger or overheated breathing.

**More on this in a future post

One thought on “Things that will mess up your writing process, Part One

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