Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Pantsing v Plotting

Up until recently, I considered myself a pantser. I'd get an idea, either about the characters I want, a setting, the black moment or even just the opening line of a story and I'd be able to sit down and type away, only really planning out a few scenes ahead. This worked for one or two wips and I did enjoy writing this way although it was hard at times.

For NanoWriMo, I spent ages in October plotting out a detailed outline of where I want my story to go, creating characters right down to their quirks and bad habits and outlining the character curves, conflicts and anything else I could think of. I'm actually finding writing this way heaps easier than pantsing although that did work for me to.

What do you do, are you a plotter, pantser or a bit of both?


  1. I think I'm about 70/30. I enjoy plotting, which I just look at as a time when I get to brainstorm in my plotbook(a nice hardback sketchbook) with lots of different colored pens and highlighters. I think I'm gonna do a post about how I plot, since lists don't work for me, but right now I'll just say: I have to know where I'm going when I sit down to write. I have to know the character's GMC for each scene, who has the most to lose, etc.

    I need to know where I'm going. How I get there? Sometimes that comes so far from left field that it completely derails my plot and I have to go back and plot some more to figure out how to get back on track(usually this deals with motivations and digging deeper into character). Sometimes it involves a revelation that is such a surprise to me that I'm not sure it's not the worst idea in the history of EVER. For the first couple days, and then after I flail around about it, I sit down with my plotbook and pens and figure out how to get back on track. Again.

    This tends to happen several times in one story.

  2. Lol, I'm a bit like that. I like to keep a spreadsheet open in the background so I can note down all the things I reveal about the characters and when so I don't repeat myself! :o)

  3. I think I'm a mix - I used to be a complete pantser, now I've gone too far towards plotter, I end up with too many notes. Hopefully I'm working towards finding a balance that works for me!