Plotter or Pantster

I read an article recently from the website “How to Write A Book Now” ( that spoke about how novel writers fall into two basic writing camps; Plotters and Pantsters. Plotters as you can imagine are writers who like to plan their novels from beginning to end before they start writing. Pantsters on the other hand, simply just sit down and start writing and figure out everything as they go along.

I confess, when I first started, I was a pantster; thinking all one had to do was just sit and write. However after many starts and subsequent quitting, I realized that if I but a little thought before I started writing, the writing process became much smoother. I still will set and just write as I go along, but when I get side tracked, I pull out my notes I prepared a head of time to get me back on course.

This little planning I believe will help me when I go back to edit. The thing I seem to get stuck on is this; as I write I keep thinking of what may be more interesting or what else I can put into the story or if I write it a certain way it may be a better story; in the end I end up with a jumbled mess of a story with no sense of direction or a story that doesn’t make a lick of sense.

So, are you a Plotter or a Pantster?

Until next time.


One comment on “Plotter or Pantster

  1. Ha, I like that name, ‘panster’. I’m definitely a plotter when it come to novels, but I was exactly like you, I also thought, as a beginning writer, that all you had to was sit and write. When handling a long piece, i.e. a novel, or even a novella, I can only keep track of my thoughts by planning. However if I write a short story, and definitely flash fiction, I prefer not knowing what comes next, the writing is sort of like a freestyle hobby – I just write what I think, and it’s easier to manage.

    Although when I do plot, I try my best to plan most of the major events and elements I need to include, but I use it more as a guide as a plan, because writing is a creative experience so I prefer not to limit myself to specifics, and rather have my outline flexible.

    I know how you feel about keep thinking of different ideas as you write, and that’s why I suggest being flexible. Although you may write your first draft with a plan, the second time round, write a particular chapter a different way, see what you prefer. You never know till you try it, and although sometimes it may just be a waste, you will have times where you come up with something a million times better.


    ~ Jay

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