Musings on the Craft of Writing

►Writing on Both Sides of the Brain

This is one of the first books I read on novel-writing, and it saved me.

I’d always been a tyrant with myself as I wrote, slicing into each section, paragraph and sentence as I typed it on the page. I was driving in circles.  Henriette Klauser’s book helped free me from that habit.



It’s true that unrefined creativity ends up as just a mess in the mss., canvas, etc..  It’s also true that being cleaned up and refined is cold and dull without the fire of the creative spirit.  My problem came by trying to synthesize these two halves in the same moment.  You don’t make love and sort your taxes at once (or if you do, something is seriously wrong with you).

I finally separated my two halves (the creative and the critical), for they were constantly slamming into each other.  I established a ‘Neutral Zone’ in my head which allowed both of my sides to flourish, but to stay out of each others’ way.  So, when I now tap the keyboard, I rarely critique anything (either within the content, grammar or prose).  I just allow my creations to pour out.  Afterwards comes time to critique it on each of those levels.

4 responses

  1. I agree, Daniel, writers need to have that ‘No Man’s Land’. They can’t function effectively without it – and the disparate worlds that live on opposite sides of that territory.

    January 25, 2014 at 6:26 pm

  2. One thing that makes physics a challenging course is that solving the problems inherently involves using both sides of the brain. I hadn’t thought about this issue with writing; thank you for pointing it out. 🙂

    January 25, 2014 at 7:55 pm

  3. Jaz

    added the book to my book list.
    balance is so important in EVERY area of life.
    thanks for sharing, daniel! 🙂

    January 25, 2014 at 10:18 pm

  4. Sounds like an excellent addition to my story-craft reading pile. Thanks for sharing, Daniel!

    January 26, 2014 at 12:30 am

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