Left Brain, Right Brain

I can tell when, in my writing, I’ve switched from essentially left-brain work to full-on right-brain storytelling mode. My spelling goes all to hell. My left brain is a great speller, never confuses no with know or to with too or two, knows the rules of grammar and punctuation. My right brain, however, knows how to fall into the story and live it, and doesn’t worry overmuch about getting the damned thing down on paper in left-brain-satisfactory fashion.

I’m ass-deep in right brain typos today, and my left brain is exercising its powers of profanity getting the mess straightened out. Nearly to the halfway point, though. Have to be to at least page 620 when I knock off for the day. LONG way yet to go.

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About the author: Novelist, writing teacher, on a mission to reprint my out-of-print books and self-publish my new ones.

5 comments… add one
  • Paula Aug 25, 2009 @ 10:03

    I know I’m commenting years after this post, but I just have to!

    I was searching hollylisle.com for info on left-brain/right-brain and this was the first hit Google came up with. This is exactly what happened to me just now! I did some clustering (right-brain), got so excited that I sat down and drafted a few hundred words (more right brain) — and then when I had to send an email to a colleague at work (when the left-brain should have put down the margarita and come back to help out), it was a mess of spelling and bad grammar! It was really embarassing! 😉

    • Holly Lisle Aug 25, 2009 @ 12:14

      😀 That sort of thing will make you nuts. I always have a bit of a mess when I shift gears from one mode of working to the other.

      On the other hand, it’s very nice to have confirmation that both halves of your brain are in there working for you.

  • S William Shaw Sep 7, 2006 @ 20:37

    A big pain. I hate having my writing flow interupted by the spelling and style voices in my head.

    One of the things I hear often as I type away is this: “You have started 3 out of the last 5 paragraphs with the main character’s name.”

  • hollylisle Sep 4, 2006 @ 18:34

    Isn’t it a pain?

  • S William Shaw Sep 4, 2006 @ 14:36

    I feel your pain. I have a right brain, left brain battle over certain words. Every time I type “their”, my left brain intervenes and puts a halt to the flow of the writing. My left brain has to make sure my right brain has the right “there/their”.

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