Now, I’m not talking about “academic” or “professional” or any of that. I’m not talking about style, either. What I mean when I say “type” of writer is how do you write? What is your process?
Doing a quick google search, you’ll see that there is what is known as the “5 step process” for writing- Draft, write, rewrite, edit, publish. While it’s true that all writers go through some semblance of this process, not all of them do it in the same way.
That’s where this post comes in. As far as I can see from talking with other (aspiring) writers, there are 3 different “types” of writer.
The Whirlwind Writer
This writer is someone who just sits, and writes. Not really any clear plan in mind, but just lets the writing do its own thing, come to life, and guide them. Usually their first draft is a mess of nonsense and horrible grammar. But! In there is a mixture of gold and garbage, and the whirlwind writer doesn’t mind going back through and figuring out which is which. These are the writers that start with an idea that will more than likely change at least 5 times before they finish even the first half of their work.
Benefits- Their writing usually draws the reader in. Since they really dive in and let their story develop into something all its own, and their characters seem to come to life.
Drawbacks– They may spend three times as long editing as they do writing. Sometimes they may struggle to get their true ideas across, as they aren’t even sure what their ideas are in the beginning.
The Meticulous Writer
This is the writer that plans out everything. They have outlines, character charts, scene cards, etc.. They know exactly what they want to say, and how they want to say it, before they even start to write. They spend more time planning than writing, but when they do sit down to get started, the process tends to flow more or less smoothly. They are die-hard perfectionists, and won’t settle for anything less than the best.
Benefits- Their writing is very clear, and their message comes through to the reader with no problem. Due to their extensive planning, the story has just the right amount of drama, dialogue, and action.
Drawbacks– Unlike the “whirlwind writer” they can get too hung up on making things perfect, that they don’t really let the story become its own creation making it seem a little “forced” at times.
The Inspired Writer
This writer is almost a combination of the two previous ones. They are the writer that does have a clear idea in mind when they start. They see something, read something, hear something, or experience something that they want to put into words. They may have a general idea of where the story will go, how the characters will develop, and what the main conflict will be, but they also like to sit back and let their ideas develop into something even more powerful than they had hoped.
Note: I’m not saying that the other types of writers weren’t inspired by something. All writing is in some way inspired by something. The difference is, with this type of writer the inspiration is the backbone of the story, whereas for the others it serves more as a “springboard.”
Benefits– Since their writing is very personal, it will reach out and grab the reader right away. They will have the perfect combination of “perfectionist” planning with the “heart-felt” connection to their work that makes for some really great reading.
Drawbacks- Due to the fact that they were “inspired” to write, they may become frustrated trying to get the story to turn out the way they want. They have an emotional attachment to their story and they want it to develop a certain way. But they also want their characters to be as inspired as they are, so there may be some “conflicts of interest” when they get deeper into the story.
Many people will find that they shift back and forth between the different “types.” It could depend on the story (or project), the day, even their mood!
Me, personally? I tend to be a “whirlwind” writer (this post itself was written in a “whirlwind” type fashion haha). What about you?? What type of writer are you? Do you think there are any other “types” that I didn’t mention?