I am such a list maker that on our first anniversary while enjoying dinner at Monti's Steakhouse, I looked at the Hub, giddy that we had clocked in our first year, and said, "Let's make a five year plan." Yes, of course it would have been in the form of a list. He looked at me in horror, raised his hands with fingers pointed like they were six-shooters and said, "Uh, I'm more a seat of the pants kind of guy." Equally horrified, we spent the rest of the meal in awkward silence. Now we laugh about it, but at the time we were both thinking, How did I not know this about this person? We are doomed!
Needless to say, I made a list about this situation, how we could manage this compulsive divide, and Hub did not. Somehow, despite his lack of lists, we have survived.
While struggling with a scene the other day, I came to that fictional crossroads, you know the one, where the story can go this way or that way and still allow the plot to follow the loosely penned outline in the proper direction. I couldn't decide which way to go. It was maddening. I closed my laptop and found a piece of paper and started making two lists, each one spelling out the ramifications of each direction. The answer became clear and my faith in list-making was confirmed.
Curious to see if I was the only compulsive list-maker out there, I did some research and found a fabulous article about Ray Bradbury and the value of lists: Ray Bradbury on How List-Making Can Boost Your Creativity.
You can click on the title above to read the whole article on brainpickings.org, but the line that got me was: "These lists were the provocations, finally, that caused my better stuff to surface. I was feeling my way toward something honest, hidden under the trapdoor on the top of my skull."
YES! You really can't argue with Ray Bradbury, now can you?
Now I have to ask you, Reds, are you list-makers or do you just fly by the seat of your pants? (Oh, horror!)