Compass writers, map writers and other mythological beings

05. February 2020 Writing 2
Compass writers, map writers and other mythological beings

I couldn’t to tell you how many times I have been fascinated by looking at the organisation level some writers that I follow on Instagram have. It seems incredible to me how they can have planned in little sheets each scene to the smallest detail.

It turns out that someone once classified writers into two groups: compass and map, which I encompass within mythological creatures.


Mythological creatures

  • Compass writers

This writer plans nothing, sits in front of the computer and lets the words flow from his mind to the screen, lets the thoughts arise in due course and shape themselves.

Looking at it that way seems idyllic. You don’t have to worry about anything, just that your fingers can keep up with your thoughts pace. But there is a problem, if they never point anything and never plan anything cohesion problems often appear throughout history. All moved by the lack of memory.

Nothing that cannot be solved with a thorough review, right? But who likes to review a written story?

  • Map writers

This writer is usually the opposite of the previous one. Before you start writing properly, you spend an unimaginable amount of time thinking and writing down absolutely everything you are going to tell in your story.

There are no loose ends, it leaves no place to mistakes, it’s the perfect story. The problem is that spontaneity and creativity are lost and writing becomes a monotonous mechanical activity.


Personally I think there is no one like that.

I don’t think there is anyone who works without having any method, without fear of getting lost in their thoughts, without having a previous idea, however small, of what they want to tell. Nor do I think there is a writer so squared that sacrifices creativity in pursuit of the perfect map of the story.

After all, writers are beings that live on our imagination and, to this, we should not be put chains.


Real writers

Reality is something different. Dividing the writers into two hermetic and closed groups is somewhat frivolous.

I think there are as many types of writers as there are writers, worth the redundancy; and we are all a mixture, in different proportions, of map and compass. After all, it all consist in finding what works better for us.

I’ve always thought I was a compass, but I realised that writing like that didn’t work for me. So I started writing things down in a writing journal and found the solution. I write down every idea that comes to mind, I crumble the story and its plot but I do not hesitate if I have to make a change, even if it’s drastic. I would never cut the wings to my creativity.


And you, are you more of map or of compass?

thoughts on2

  • 1
    M. on Thursday February 6th, 2020 Reply

    Me ha encantado!
    Yo creo que soy un poco más mapa, necesito planificar bien para no perderme, pero no me cierro a ideas nuevas

    • 2
      moonlight lady on Thursday February 6th, 2020 Reply

      Muchas gracias!!
      Desde que descubrí los writing journals no concibo ponerme a escribir sin planificar al menos un poco!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.