Tag Archives: pantser

Plotter or Pantser

The epic battle of writers. Planning it out, or going with the direction of the wind, on a whim.

Some believe that plotting everything out first- characters, settings, conflict, climax and ending- destroys true creativity. That it limits where the characters wants to go. Some say ‘pantsing’ it can lead you too astray from where you began. Example: Story starts out a horror/suspense with a dog, ends up a comedic romance with a pet monkey.

I’ve always been a planner. Not just in writing- school speeches, work presentations, and my first 3 manuscripts were completely outlined  before I started writing. I needed the road map to keep me on track. My safety net.

Just this last month, I did something I’ve never done. Sat down and wrote what came to my brain. No plotting, no character sketching. I ‘pantsed’ four chapters without stopping.

And I freakin’ loved it!

Scared a bit too, thinking the writing would be horrible, the pages full of back story and wandering motivations (and some of it was). But it was damn fun!

And I ended those four chapters with the same characters I started with. No road map and I’m still cruising along the highway with the convertible top down. Wind in my hair. No ponytail.

Not sure how far I’ll go before I give in to my plotter-side and at least put together character sheets. But it’s felt good to go with the flow of my creative side.

Who’da thought it?

Are you a plotter or pantser?

Have you ever tried both?

Consider this peer pressure…