What Kind of Writer Are You (Avatar Edition)?

Sokka: Our detour into town today has completely thrown off our schedule. It's gonna take some serious finagling to get us back on track. 
Toph: Finagle away, oh schedule master!

You love the burst of ideas that is the New Shiny. Brainstorms, outlines, beat sheets -- you will do whatever it takes to make this story awesome before you write the first word. Why? Because the plan is perfect. What ruins things are those pesky words (and dialogs and descriptions and transitions and . . . ).

Uncle Iroh: You never think these things through. This is exactly what happened when you captured the Avatar at the North Pole. You had him and then you had nowhere to go!
Zuko: I would have figured something out.

You love the draft, the heady rush of new words as the story pours out of you. Maybe you have a plan, or maybe you just sit down and see what comes out. Maybe it gets you in trouble. Regardless, you feel that whatever heart and soul the story has will come right here, but only if you let it. The words are crap, but the emotions are real. Words can be fixed later.

Master Pakku: Katara, you've advanced more quickly than any other student I've ever trained. You have proven that with fierce determination, passion, and hard work, you can accomplish anything. Raw talent alone is not enough.

The draft is done, thank GOD! Now you can get to the part you truly love: turning the crap into a really great novel. Revision is where real novels are made, after all, and you know better than anyone that anything can be made better in this stage. Though it'd be nice if you didn't have to do it so many times.

Katara [about Toph]: How did she do that?
Aang: She waited and listened.

For you, the novel is never truly finished until someone else has read it. It's not that you don't trust your own opinion -- you do, but you know your opinion is inherently biased. You are too close to the story to objectively evaluate it yourself. And when other people start coming back with mostly praise, then you know it is almost finished. You have almost written a novel.

Obviously, we have to be all four of these to be successful, but most of us enjoy one or two aspects of writing much more than the others (and I bet you all have one aspect you hate -- I do).

It's no surprise I'm a diehard planner, but I also enjoy listening to critiques. For me, I can't call a story good until other people start saying it is.

So what kind of writer are you?


Matthew MacNish said...

Sokka plus Toph for me. I do enjoy drafting, and I've learned to love (to hate) revision, but it's in the planning that I really make a novel. For me, if I can't plan it to full outline, I will never write it. Or - it ends up as flash fiction, depending on the idea.

Susan Kaye Quinn said...

Er, I think I'm Zuko. With a large dose of Toph now, to keep Zuko from going completely off the rails. Great post!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I'm Zuko. Fun post!

Juliana said...

Love this post!
I'm a mix of Sokka and Zuko. I like to plan but not to the point where I don't allow surprises to happen and stir me away a little bit.
And I HATE revisions! lol

Steve MC said...

Katara here. Perfectionist to a fault.

Nancy Thompson said...

I love all phases & feel equal parts of each, but while I am a most diehard planner & shine as a reviser, I know my writing is nothing if not for my critters. So what does that make me? Schizophrenic?!

Lori M. Lee said...

What a great post, ahah. I'm a mix of Sokka, Katara, and Toph. Which is funny b/c Zuko is my favorite lol.

Sarah Ahiers said...

ok. Now i reeeeally want to watch some more avatar. Like right now. I cannot WAIT for the new one.
And i'm a planner. Can't start my rough draft until my list of scenes is in place.

Myrna Foster said...

Great. I'm trying to channel Katara (as I AM revising), but I'm really the angsty dude with the scar. I can identify with all of these. I even like to plan, but my plans never work out the way they're supposed to.

Adam Heine said...

Ha! Zuko is my favorite too, but uh...not in writing :-)

Melodie said...

Fun post!
I'm a planner/reviser. Not a big fan of drafting in theory...like right now, I have a New Shiny pestering my brain and am dreading that first chapter...but once I'm in it, I'm gone. Still, revision is my fav, hands-down.

vic caswell said...

i love this!!!
zuko progressing into toph (though the other aspects have their merits as well).
awesome! because toph is my favorite, then zuko, then sokka, then aang and katara... oooh! uncle iro! who'm i kidding they are all aamazing!!!

Peggy Eddleman said...

Haha! I love this! At first, I thought, Oh! Planner! Yes! That's me! And then I kept reading and thought, No. It's definitely reviser. Yes. Totally reviser. Then I read a little more and thought, ...Or maybe listener...

Based on that, I think it's safe to say I'm not a drafter.