[Don't forget! The Asian YA Giveaway is still going on. Enter now if you haven't already! Winners chosen on Friday.]
Sokka: Our detour into town today has completely thrown
off our schedule. It's gonna take some serious finagling to get us back
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?