Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Right Brain/Left Brain, as it applies to writing

Knowing yourself is an important part of writing.  When we understand how the  right brain and left brain work, it helps to identify just what kind of writer we are.  Here is an explanation (the way I see it) of how the brain works in relation to writing.

Right Brain/Left Brain

The tendency to lean in one direction or the other is fundamental to the human condition.  The right brain appears to control the functions of the left side of the body (more liberal, change-oriented); the left side of the brain appears to control the functions of the body’s right side (conservative).

In writing, we can relate the right brain to scene and the left brain to summary.

Here are some opposites that fall under each heading:

The Left Side                       The Right Side

Linear                                                            Non-linear

Logical                                                          Intuitive

Verbal                                                            Visual

Traditional                                                    Unconventional

Detailed                                                         Abstract

Technical/mathematical                              Artistic

Orderly                                                          Spontaneous

Extreme – too little movement, rigid          Extreme – too much movement, chaos

As writers, our task is to integrate these two sides of the brain.  In the same manner, we intersperse our stories with scene and summary.
My next blog will focus entirely on scene and summary.
Catherine Alexander




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