Saturday, December 16, 2006

Left Brain, Right Brain

There has been a discussion about planning versus plotting books, and the wondrous Alexandra Sokoloff said something interesting. She said that, in an informal survey she’d done while touring, the more left brained an author, the more likely they were to be a ‘pantser’ and the more right brained, the more likely they were a planner.

So, what am I?

You Are 70% Left Brained, 30% Right Brained

The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.


This explains why I couldn’t plot books to save my life, and why I absolutely must plot short stories.

In part, anyway.

Bonnie’s post is hilarious. For me, I have to scroll all the way down to read it, but that could just be a safari thing.

I’m off to brave the malls today. As Kevin knows, I’m no fan of shopping. But there are bills to pay, presents to buy. I’ve decided the older kids are getting gift certificates. It’s what they want, anyway.

And Dashiell…I have no idea what to get Dash for Christmas. What would an 18-month-old want? Money won’t quite cut it in his case.

Suggestions welcome. I have a feeling his gift will have to keep until next weekend, because I still don’t have a list from my sister.

What are you guys doing this weekend?

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would have thought it would be the opposite. Right-brained "pantser", left-brained "planner." The left brain is, supposedly, the analytical side -- where planning happens. The right-brained is the more intuitive side, where creativity happens.

According to the little survey, I am 25% Left, 75% Right. Of course those little blogthings are more for fun than accuracy, but I think that's not far off the mark for me. And I know I am definitely a pantser. My analytical powers are definitely less developed than my

In reality, I think the interaction between analysis and creativity is more subtle than a strict left/right balancing act. Still, this is not a bad way to describe these aspects of how our brain works.

Anonymous said...

"My analytical powers are definitely less developed than my intuitive powers," I meant to say.

JamesO said...

I came up 45% left, 55% right, which just goes to show I can never make my mind up.

Actually this fits quite well with the 'handedness' test we used to do in Undergrad Psychology, which always had me fairly ambidextrous.

And surely Ninja Ducks for an eighteen month old;}#

James Goodman said...

I am:

You Are 35% Left Brained, 65% Right Brained
The left side of your brain controls verbal ability, attention to detail, and reasoning.
Left brained people are good at communication and persuading others.
If you're left brained, you are likely good at math and logic.
Your left brain prefers dogs, reading, and quiet.

The right side of your brain is all about creativity and flexibility.
Daring and intuitive, right brained people see the world in their unique way.
If you're right brained, you likely have a talent for creative writing and art.
Your right brain prefers day dreaming, philosophy, and sports.

anne frasier said...

Are 30% Left Brained, 70% Right Brained

there were several questions i would have answered as neither one if possible, but the end result is probably close to being right.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Bill, I also thought it would be opposite. But maybe the reason is that us left-brained people are so advanced our subconscious does the plotting and just relays it so we can write it out straight.

;)

James, does it ever hurt, sitting on that fence?

So James (Goodman) are you a planner then? Do Alex's findings hold true for you?

Anne, there were some questions there I found a bit "neither" or either, depending on the situation. I think you'd need to do a more comprehensive test not designed for a blog to get it right, though.

Anonymous said...

I scored 15% left, 85% right.

Sandra Ruttan said...

So, are you a plotter Patrick?

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'm always plotting something. But I guess you meant in a book sense. Yeah, once I reached about 10,000 words with Bitter Water Blues I had to sit down and plot out the rest before I could go any further. The plot outline (ten pages long) isn't a perfect road map, though. There always little side-trips along the way.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'm always plotting something. But I guess you meant in a book sense. Yeah, once I reached about 10,000 words with Bitter Water Blues I had to sit down and plot out the rest before I could go any further. The plot outline (ten pages long) isn't a perfect road map, though. There always little side-trips along the way.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'm always plotting something. But I guess you meant in a book sense. Yeah, once I reached about 10,000 words with Bitter Water Blues I had to sit down and plot out the rest before I could go any further. The plot outline (ten pages long) isn't a perfect road map, though. There always little side-trips along the way.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'm always plotting something. But I guess you meant in a book sense. Yeah, once I reached about 10,000 words with Bitter Water Blues I had to sit down and plot out the rest before I could go any further. The plot outline (ten pages long) isn't a perfect road map, though. There always little side-trips along the way.

Anonymous said...

Wow. First it wouldn't post my reply, then it posted it four times. Sorry about that. Please feel free to delete them.

Trace said...

I would've thought the same thing, that left brained people would be the planners. I'm a weird one. My analytical ability is on par with my intuition. I'm pretty strong in both.

angie said...

Well that was fun - and not a big surprise. I'm 45% left-brain, 55% right. I took a much longer version of one of these tests in college & came up with similar results (they had a fancier term for people who use both sides of their brain nearly equally, but i can't remember what it is).

As for seat o' pants vs. plot...I do a little of both. A general idea of where I'm headed & the major roadside attractions along the way, accompanied by plenty of little unplanned side trips.