Feb 17, 2009

Pantser or Plotter?

Posted by AJ Blythe at Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Plotter: One who organizes, plans, plots, outlines, synopsizes, characterizes, takes copious notes, and researches before putting pen to paper. Before they sit down at the computer, they know exactly what’s going to happen in their story and feel confident that every scene flows into the next and all loose ends are neatly tied up.

Pantser: One who writes by the seat of their pants, and who does NOT plan, plot, outline, or do character studies ahead of time. They generally get a basic idea for a story and/or character(s) in their head, sit down at the computer, begin writing, and trust that everything will work itself out in the end.

(from The Plotter and the Pantser - A Writing Chat About Characterisation http://www.hodrw.com/ppii.htm)

I always thought I was (well, wanted) to be a pantser. I liked the idea of flying by the seat of my pants - and, ok, it seemed like much less work without all that planning.

But I guess it's not something you can choose... it's what you are. And, yep, you guessed it, turns out I'm really a plotter.

Every time I start a new ms I have a general basic idea and characters and sit down and go for it. But before too long I am starting to take notes, establishing conflict, writing out notes for chapters and... well, basically plotting.


I guess next time I should just bite the bullet and save all that time by doing the planning before I start.


Monique Wood on February 18, 2009 at 11:48 AM said...

I'm a pantser. Your sense of organisation puts me to shame! lol.

ELLANORA JOY on February 18, 2009 at 7:47 PM said...

lol, nah Mon, I envy pantsers. I tragically am an organisation nutcase and really can't write successfully without the planning. For my current ms have nearly filled a small notebook full of notes - I wish they went towards my word count!

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