Plotter and Pantser

,It’s that time of the week – Tuesday Discussion.

From those who are new, each week I post a topic (relevant to my WIP) and try to unravel the mysteries and perspectives of it. Last weeks post was Character Voice Between Multiple POVs and this week is:

Plotter and Pantser.

It is one of the great debates of authors, do we plot or do we just sit down and let the characters work out the story plots. Firstly here is a quick definition if you are unsure of what is a plotter and pantser are.

A Plotter also called outlining and it involves a process where you create a structure for your novel before you write it. You write headlines for the major plot points of your novel which provide a map by which you navigate your way through, filling in the detail as you go.

A Pantser, is the complete oppositeis unsurprising, the act of sitting down and writing, quite literally, by the seat of your pants. The cliched version of this will see you opening up your laptop, or sharpening your pencil in that decisive way that you do, and then start to write with no forward planning, no idea of where your characters or story will take you.

Do you outline your projects before writing them, or do you pants your way through a number of drafts?

I write with both at mind. I tend to outline the general direction where I want my character’s story to head but I tend to sit down and just write with the outline at close stand-by, so I don’t waffle, or distract away from the major plot line.

I found with being a panster, subplots appear throughout the story for my characters arc, personality and motivation.

Do you strictly plot? or dabble into both like me?

Post your comments and answers below. If you think someone has an interesting point of view and answer, please invite them or share this post with them.

#DWTSmith #plotterandpantser


13 thoughts on “Plotter and Pantser

  1. With short fiction, I’ve found pantsing is my usual style, though I’ll sometimes take notes on a scene first. For long fiction, I tried rough outline for a chapter, pants the details, then rinse & repeat for the next chapter.

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  2. I tend to do a bit of both. My first draft is usually paper and pen as a pantser. I did write my ending first so I knew where I wanted to end up, but nothing else was really planned. Then I just sat and wrote. I didn’t so much focus on details but what happens when. Then I use that as a structure and add my scene and character details when I type (not that the scene always stays the same). I’ve tried outlining in a more formal manner, but I feel like my writing becomes stiff and mechanical. Writing as a pantser I let my imagination make a movie-like scene in my head and try to jot details down as fast as possible. It just feels more organic to me.

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  3. I tried doing outlines before, but it didn’t work for me. It just kind of took away the fun for me. I love discovering a story while writing, it’s almost like reading, only I get to write it down 🙂 So yeah, I’m a pantser. Sometimes I ask myself if it wouldn’t be “easier” if I were a plotter, but what can you do 🤷😋

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    • Exactly right. You an only do what works for you, if you try it and it doesn’t that’s great!
      I think the point I was trying to get across is, if you are new to writing m, these are ways people write – have a try and see what works for you 😃
      Thank you for commenting 👌


      • Absolutely. That’s my experience with writing, but it can be totally different for someone else 😉 That’s what I loved about your post, because I think a lot of people try one thing that doesn’t work for them and then feel like they’re a bad writer and give up. So it’s great to let them know about the different ways to do it 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you 😃 Each Tuesday I try to upload engaging discussion posts for writers on all stages of their writers journey. I look forward to see you input 😊👍

        Liked by 1 person

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