Pantser versus Plotter

Okay, so the first question you’re going to ask me is what the heck is a pantser?

In the fiction writing world there are two main types of writers: 1)Plotters, who as the name implies, outline and plot out their story before writing it. 2) Pantsers, are those writers who ‘write by the seat of their pants’ and let the story take them where it wants to as they write.

Now, in all honesty there are some hybrid variations to these two writing styles. There are many pantsers who will write a rough outline and plotters who outline, but also listen to the writing fairies and head where the muse takes them.

Me, I’m pretty much a pantser. And for those of you who know me, you are probably more than a little shocked. I am a project manager in my ‘day job’ which means I plan, chart, and graph all kinds of things to determine how and when projects will be accomplished. I am a triple type ‘A’ personality. So I find it interesting that I don’t write this way.

Maybe it’s a stubborn refusal to associate my work with my writing (although any writer will tell you that writing IS work). But I love listening to the muse head me down a path. I almost get giddy when something great happens as if I’m the reader and not the writer!

After a recent workshop that I attended by Alexandra Sokoloff, I learned about the 4 act story block. So (gulp) I’m trying to incorporate this into my writing. Now, this doesn’t mean that I’ve gone to the ‘dark side’ and plotted out my whole story. But what it does mean is that I’m thinking about the ends of each act (which should pack a punch) and placing them in the right place in my book. 

We’ll see how things go…


One thought on “Pantser versus Plotter

  1. I think you would be a plantster – will wander away from your detailed plan when your muse speaks to you. 😉

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