Today I am featuring a post by my good friend, and fellow Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo, Lee French. Lee poses the question: Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter?’ For me, the answer lies somewhere in the middle. I plot, then I wing it, then I replot, and let it fly. Without further ado, here is Lee’s post. I heartily suggest you read it all and click on through to finish the post on her page.
There are many writers who claim to pants their stories. That is, fly by the seat of their pants, aka no plan, no outline, no nothing before starting to write. The other option is planning, which consists of drawing up a complete outline, character bios, detailed setting documents, and so on.
Pantser vs. Plotter
I wish to submit two controversial opinions:
- Pantsing and plotting are not two options, but rather two ends of a spectrum.
- As with many linear scales, most of us fit most comfortably somewhere between the two extremes.
The popularized term for folks who do “both” is Plantser. My argument is that we are all plantsers. Or, at least, the majority of us are.
The hitch: until you start writing, you have no real idea where you fit on that spectrum. You may think you’re on the Pantser end, then you get stuck on Day 4…
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3 responses to “#NaNoPrep Season: Learning Your Pre-writing Style #NaNoWriMo”
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It’s been my experience that without some planning, fiction projects, especially novels, don’t get finished, and you end up with an audience of one. When I shifted from writing to understand the universe to writing to an audience not myself
, I started planning a whole lot more.
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That is so true, Scott. My first completed novel was 70,000 stream-of-consciousness ideas strung together with disparate ramblings. I was quite proud of having completed the project, that is, until my friend who had read the first few pages said, “Once you’ve finished this it ought to be okay. But I wouldn’t buy it.” Whenever I look at that ms, I understand exactly what she meant, and am amazed at my naive audacity.