Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
A well-written story is an amazing thing. It is fresh and full of tidbits which stick in the head long after the cover is closed. And yet, it is still organized in a logically flowing fashion. It is the final product balanced between the sequential logic of the left brain and the artistic, simultaneously processing right brain.
How to balance the two sides of my brain, the yin and yang, continues to fascinate me.
For me, writing uses both the organized as well as the organic aspects of creativity. My story ideas usually start in one of two ways: 1. Combining IDEA A + IDEA B; or 2. Flash of insight. Obviously I have a lot more control over the first way to create stories, which is organized and gives opportunities for more intuitive creation. The second way to get ideas is a lot like sitting around waiting for lightning to strike. You’ll waste a lot of time and probably end up muddy and cold. The only way to increase my odds of lightning strikes is to do something that occupies my hands and keeps my mind open to wander.
I don’t watch a lot of TV anymore, by American standards. According to 2012 Nielsen statistics, the average American watches 34 hours of TV per week. I feel like it occupies my brain in ways that are counterproductive to creativity. I will watch specific shows for entertainment, but I don’t turn on the TV to just see what is available.
Going back to the topic of right brain vs. left brain writing, I think you have to use both, but there are times when each is appropriate.
In my mind, I alternate between the two sides on both the macro and micro levels. For a scene, I’ll decide what I want to happen (organized), then write it, letting whatever happens end up on the page (organic). After evaluating the work, the scene can be rebalanced and edited (organized) or head in a new direction (organic). Dialogue, for me, is an organic process. Apparently I find it easy to have arguments with myself. Description and summary sections are more calculated and organized. What do I need to tell the reader so they have context for the following scene? Why is arguing with myself so much fun? Ah, questions.
And here’s a fun game to try to play. I’m not very good at it. Apparently my brain is reading the word long before I can register what color the font is.