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?
Have you ever tried both?
Consider this peer pressure…
- Pantser or Plotter? (kymlucas.wordpress.com)
- Pantsers, Plotters and Pottering Around (maerwyddmcfarland.wordpress.com)
- on pantsing, plotting, and why i do one over the other (elsiechapman.com)