1. Zombocalypse

    Zombocalypse Member

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    Are you a plotter or a pantser?

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Zombocalypse, Oct 20, 2016.

    "Simply put, a plotter is someone who plans out their novel before they write it. A pantser is someone who, “flies by the seat of their pants,” meaning they don’t plan out anything, or plan very little."

    http://thewritepractice.com/plotters-pantsers/



    So what are you?

    Me personally, I'm a pantser. I do better coming up random stuff out of the blue. Planning feels rigid for me.
     
  2. peachalulu

    peachalulu Member Reviewer Contributor

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    A little of both. For short stories I'm more - ah idea! and then - buncha mad typing. Total pantsing. For a novel I do a lot more thinking, daydreaming, some figuring and sorting out. I'm not as ridged as I used to be though. Back in the early 90's I used to write out a happenings list on paper, cut them into strips, arrange them, glue them on a piece of Bristol board and then make an even more precise list, etc, etc. By the time I got to the writing part I was bored with the story and only managed a coupla pages.
    For my novel I usually have about four plots points I need to hit and the ending is always flexible.
     
  3. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    I'd say about 85% Planner: even if I'm going to change it later, I still need to have at least the basic idea for how my story's going to end before I can start.

    I tend to be all over the place:
    • Sometimes focusing on a scene towards the beginning, sometimes towards the middle, sometimes towards the end
    • Sometimes focusing on one character, sometimes another one
    • Sometimes focusing on the outline, sometimes the text
    • Sometimes focusing on creation, sometimes editing
    • Sometimes focusing on the WIP, sometimes sequels
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
  4. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    First I pants. Then I plop.
     
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  5. Zombocalypse

    Zombocalypse Member

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    What's plop?
     
  6. 123456789

    123456789 Contributor Contributor

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    Bad joke. Sorry :S
     
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  7. TheWriteWitch

    TheWriteWitch Active Member

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    I'm a planner but I've learned to leave enough space for pants-ing.

    I write a tagline for each chapter and then wait until I'm there to think about what each individual scene will be.

    And then I flip right back to plotting by writing a few sentence [fragments] for each scene. That way, when I'm typing along I don't get completely sidetracked and lose my focus.
     
  8. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Plans have never really worked out for me when it comes to writing or life. I like the rush of having to make things up on the fly. That being said, I primarily focus on short stories. But what writer who has been doing this a good amount of time doesn't have a longer WIP or novel in the drawer? I would make an outline if I thought it would help me. I just hate the idea of putting a lot of thought into an idea before I actually start writing the idea. I've got something going on now with no planning or outline. I think it's very important to trust your gut when it comes to finding your best approach. And always be open to it changing. The process really doesn't matter at all. It's all about what gets you to produce the best work.
     
  9. Tenderiser

    Tenderiser Not a man or BayView

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    Gah, I hate this false dichotomy. It's a spectrum.
     
  10. Kara Gatsby

    Kara Gatsby Member

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    Nerdy me--oh my God I love paperwork and workbooks and filling in blanks--always tries desperately to plan it all out in advance.

    And then I lose my notes and fill in the wrong blank and end up pantsing it.
     
  11. Albeit

    Albeit Active Member

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    I usually put my pants on one leg at a time. Sometimes I jump into my pants, hence inserting both legs at once if I am feeling creative.

    So yes, I am a pantser.

    Also a bad joke.

    My apologies to the community, carry on.
     
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  12. xanadu

    xanadu Contributor Contributor

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    I agree with @Tenderiser about it being a spectrum. I definitely fall more on the planning side of the spectrum, but certainly not all the way.

    I need to start with a general idea of beginning, ending, main players, and a few major events along the way. I typically know what the plot is in very, very loose terms from the outset. Then, from that point, I'll plan out the first chapter or two and start writing. If things change, so be it...I'll change with it if it makes enough sense, consider how it'll affect the future plans, make any adjustments, and keep on. I typically plan a chapter or two ahead but leave room for things to develop naturally. One of the best parts is figuring out how I'm going to get from where I am to the next planned major event--that's usually where some of the pantsing comes into play.

    For short stories, I usually know what the story will be before I write it. If I don't have a solid idea in mind, I don't have a story. But I don't typically write many shorts.
     
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  13. Solar

    Solar Contributor Contributor

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    Plantster, plontster . . . ?
     
  14. Lew

    Lew Contributor Contributor

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    I have done technical writing for decades, and for that, I start the document with an outline and table of contents, down to at least the third level subparagraphs. Then I fill in the blanks.

    Obviously, when I am writing for fun, I do NOT follow that style, or it would rapidly become a bus driver's holiday. I am a pantser for fictional work, but not as much as I thought. As my story involved a lot of traveling, I laid out their route on a map, examined the terrain in detail, determined about how long it was going to take, what the weather was like, what towns/cities/scenery that would see... setting research in detail for each chapter. So I guess that is planning. That being done though, I just dropped my characters into the scene and took dictation from them... unexpected things happened all the time!
     
  15. Jess Hughes

    Jess Hughes Member

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    I'm more of plotter. I find it so satisfying to put all my ideas down on paper. I have my own folder for all my ideas: plot summaries, character profiles, maps, religions, languages, academies... etc. I am a fantasy writer and there is a lot that goes into fantasy, especially if you are creating your own world. It would be extremely difficult to wing it, for me anyway, it would be all over the place! My whole life I've been a plotter, even in my everyday life. I love planning and don't know how I'd cope without it! :supergrin:
     
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  16. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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  17. Siena

    Siena Senior Member

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    Both.
     
  18. Simpson17866

    Simpson17866 Contributor Contributor

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    Do you at least have a slight preference for one or the other, or are you about equally both?
     

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