Brandon Sanderson has posted his lectures for his English 321 Course from BYU. You can access them on YouTube.Com. I’m gonna work my way through the 14 videos.
The first lecture was about administrative issues for the student’s of the course at BYU. I am not formally in the course so this information was not helpful. I will create a 35 – 50K word novella as I work my way through the course. Each week, I will watch one of the videos. I am not in a writer’s group so I can’t complete that part of the course, but I will post these documents to this website.
Sanders, in the first lecture gave an interesting metaphor for understanding writers and distinguishing between “Plotters” versus “Pantsers.” Sanders spoke of those who start writing with little planning as Gardeners, versus those who finish intricate plots before beginning as “Architects.”
The gardeners can have difficulty sustaining progress. In addition, they can have problematic endings. However, they have vibrant characters who are alive.
In contrast, the architects can have characters who slavishly follow the plot. But the architects end up with a strong under-girding of plot throughout the whole story.
Sanderson argues that we choose between the two based on the story’s needs. Many writers, according to Sanders, are naturally inclined to be either architects or gardeners.
This is a nice metaphor as we begin this course. I think I am somewhere in between as most of us are.