Organic Versus Structured
It is an interesting exercise for a writer to consider how they write. For example, I write Christian romance novels. How do I develop the plot, characters, setting, time, and all the other elements that go into my novels?
I’ve been thinking about this recently. A word that keeps coming into my mind is ‘organic’ – that I write organically. So, I looked up the word and some sentence examples to gain a better understanding of its definition. One of the definitions Lexico.com provides for organic is, “denoting a relation between elements of something such as they fit together harmoniously as necessary parts of a whole” (Lexico.com is a new collaboration between Dictionary.com and Oxford University Press (OUP).
Here are two examples of the word used in a sentence:
My next step was to look up what I consider to be the opposite of organic and that is
‘structured’. As a transitive verb, Lexico.com defines structure as, “construct or arrange according to a plan.”
When I sit down to write a novel, I do have an overall plan. But the parts within that plan are flexible. For example, in a way that is difficult to explain, my characters sometimes go off in directions that I did not anticipate when I developed the structure. Rather than stick rigidly to the structure, I allow the character to go where he/she wants to go. Sometimes this is inconvenient, as it means rearranging other aspects of the book. But I believe it is important to give the character free rein.
In “Seventy Times Seven,” the character Maria was to play a secondary role to the main character, Merisela. However, Maria took on a life of her own and played a much more important part in the book than originally designed. I believe that letting Maria be Maria ultimately enhanced the part of Merisela.
Am I saying that it is better to write organically rather than structurally? No. What I am saying is that I am a writer who writes organically. Ultimately, it is the reader who will decide whether they like an organic writer. They will vote yay or nay with their pocket books.
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In this Blog, I want to share with you some of the things I've learned from many years of following Jesus.