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Gardners vs. architects

Discussion in 'Insights & Inspiration' started by DefinitelyMaybe, Oct 12, 2015.

  1. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Took a quick look inside and downloaded it, though I couldn't find Discovery in the free read section. Didn't mean to come across as a know-it-all, but will let you know if I find something interesting, good or bad


    I am hard to get really annoyed!
     
  2. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Tenderizer, downloaded the anthology and stayed up till 1AM reading the first three or four. Great stuff! Thanks for the lead.

    What a thought, first generation black power reaching Rome before the fall, what a game changer that would have been to the course of history.

    My story actually followed, I think, the same path out of China, Kashgar through the Irkeshtam Pass to the Alay Valley in Kyrgyzstan, down pastAlexandria on the Oxus (Amu Darya), on the border between Tajikistan and Kunduz province in Afghanistan.
     
  3. Morgan Stelbas

    Morgan Stelbas Active Member

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    I was definitely a "gardener" as a kid, just started writing and then the ideas came. This was true even into my twenties.

    But after an eight year hiatus of not writing a single thing creatively (I can hear the tsssk's from some of you, but it's what happened), I woke up one morning with an idea, and decided that I should plot out the story before writing it. I still found that while I was writing it, my character development still grew on their own, the "gardener" in me was still there, although I had a plan.

    After I finished the story, (it took me three weeks of every ounce of spare time writing, because I couldn't get the story out of my mind fast enough), I decided to look online about publishing.

    Then that lead to research about how to write a good story. Then I learned about how some authors write outlines, and I realized that's what I had done without knowing it. Then I eventually came onto this forum. So I am still learning a lot about the skills needed in writing and adjusting my story with the things I've learned and the things I'm still learning.

    So maybe that means I'm naturally a gardener with architect tendencies? I have no idea. I just know I'm not 100% one or the other. I personally think very few people are.
     
  4. appledotte

    appledotte Member

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    I definitely discovery write short stories. I currently have a rough outline for my book, but it is still more of a discovery writing process, the outline is really just a few words to give me a general context as the physical structure and organization of my book is a bit all over the place. The outline helps me keep the tone I am aiming for more in mind.
     
  5. Toomanypens

    Toomanypens Member

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    I'm a combo of both, I'm a brick from the house in the garden.
    Meaning nothing happens at all :p

    JK
     
  6. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

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    First I develop an outline, sometimes more rough than others (i.e. architect). Then I decide which scene needs to be written in terms of character development and start to write. During writing things happen which may or may not point in the direction of the outline (i.e. gardener). If not, I have to adjust the outline (i.e. architect again)

    Next day I go back for edit (i.e. pruning), and then look at what is missing (i.e. architect), and the whole circle starts again for the next scene. You get the idea :D

    Involves a whole lot of sitting around and staring into nothing or at whatever is in the way, when my head runs down different paths the story could evolve. But the final choices are made by the characters themselves during writing them *sigh*
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  7. jannert

    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    I'm new to this thread, but hey. I had to laugh while reading this post. It's almost EXACTLY how my own story started. With an idea like that. So many ranchers lost their shirts (and their ranches) during the Big Die-Up winter that happened in 1886-87 in Montana. But some of them survived ...some of these ranches survive to this day. So what did they do differently? Were they just lucky, or did they anticipate the problem and make allowances for a bad winter, understood the need to provide feed and shelter for their animals, etc? What kind of people look ahead long term, rather than just skip along hoping for the best short-term?

    That's what I started with.

    I ended with a story about twin brothers from Kansas, a major split between them that can't be healed, a marriage that impacts on one of them and demands difficult choices and creates lasting consequences ...and I never quite made it to the winter of 1886-87! But there you go. I did deal with my original idea, though, and the rancher in question is doing the preparation he'll need to make in order to survive, because he's smart and thinks ahead. But the story went its own way, and the research I did was on a need-to-know basis, and turned up lots of stuff I didn't know, and also reinforced stuff I did know, but couldn't document. Your process and mine sound exactly the same!

    Architect? Not at all. But my next book is a direct sequel to the first (which is a stand-alone, not a series), so there is architecture in place at the start. And I do have a clear idea where the story is going. So not much pantsing at all. It will be interesting to see if I can work both ways.
     
  8. Lew

    Lew Contributing Member Contributor

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    Thanks for the compliment, Jannert! I happen to enjoy your posts as well. How about posting the title so I can download it, or message me if you prefer? I always like to see other writers who follow our eclectic path.

    I like to say that I didn't write this story, I just took dictation from my characters! Even the ending did not work out at all like I thought it might when I sat down to write it: I knew there would be some revelation that the Chinese emperor had been impressed with their sense of honor, though he had condemned them all to death for showing it. I did not know that Senator Galba, the lead, would face political problems with his fellow Senators demanding he refund the government's share of funding for his ships, since his meeting with their Emperor was an abject failure. This of course would turn his unexpected financial windfall into a catastrophe. And outside in the Forum, the crowd is cheering "Jason and the new Argonauts."

    We did follow almost an identical course in writing our stories. I already knew a lot about Rome, but China intimidated me. The China research was done on the fly, and Bactria (Afghanistan) was a total surprise. Why I did not know, and most people do not, is that the Eurasian landmass @100AD was globalized in a way that did not reemerge until the 20th century. It was possible to travel from the Atlantic coast of Spain to the Pacific coast of China and never leave the bounds of civilization: Rome, Parthia (Iran/Iraq), Bactria (Afghanistan, N. Pakistan, Tajikistan and western China) and Han China. Unfortunately, globalization brings new diseases, and something, perhaps smallpox, perhaps from Borneo (yes, they went there too) emerged in 160 AD and laid waste to all those populations for the next 50 years. All the eastern empires fell in the next 25-50 years, and Rome staggered on, its economy in tatters and military crippled, until collapsing 250 years later. Rome's 100AD revenue was based on 2.5% internal sales tax, and a 25% tariff on all foreign imports, and the Indian Ocean trade, @$400M at today's gold rate, funded a significant chunk of the government with very little admin overhead... when that collapsed, they had to tax their citizens. ("Rome and the Distant East" is the source)

    "The Eagle and the Dragon" just got its first very favorable review by a professional editor, with a more in-depth review to follow ($$$). Started the cover, Ptolemy's world map @100AD, with their sea route to his wholly notional Chinese side of the continent. The 12th Legion's eagle standard leans on the left, a Chinese dragon on a staff on the right with a yellow banner with "Western Harmony" in traditional Chinese script... my fictional banner used by the Gan Ying expedition.
     
  9. Mckk

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

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    I'm now thinking of "Si Gua"... Watermelon. I'm so sorry!!! :cry:

    [​IMG]

    Could still be a flower though

    [​IMG]
     
  10. Adenosine Triphosphate

    Adenosine Triphosphate Old Scratch Contributor

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    I'm a gardener naturally, but that makes it hard for me to keep track of anything, so I'm trying to become an architect instead.
     
  11. The Mad Regent

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

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    I only had to watch a few minutes of that video to realize I come under the gardener category.

    Though, I like to think of the process more as a road trip. You know where you're starting, and you know where you're heading, but everything in between is yet to happen. During the road trip, you could think about places to visit along the way, or experience some kind of situation, especially if you're traveling with others whose personalities vary. But in the writing sense, this would be the equivalent of jotting down ideas, or having your characters drag you into situations you didn't originally consider.

    As fun and cool as it is to create and plan everything in detail, I find that it's hard to keep within them boundaries, and it's like decorating a room and realizing you forget some important tool or material half way through, so you try to improvise and then it looks all wrong.
     
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  12. Lifeline

    Lifeline The Dark - not in Wonderland Contributor

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    This is not an excuse! :D

    These are two different coins in my opinion. I am also a fellow pantser who flies by the seat of my trousers sometimes but keeping track of what you are supposed to be doing has nothing to do with letting your subconscious write and drop you hints. Even gardeners chooe which flowers they plant and have to water them, look for snails, and occassionally prune a runaway rose ;)

    More practically: how about writing a shorthand blow by blow of all you need to be aware of down the storyline after each scene? This helps me on and off..
     
  13. Robert Musil

    Robert Musil Contributing Member

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    Maybe we can all just agree to be topiarists. They're sort of like architects for plants. It's the best of both worlds.
     

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