Sunday, April 20, 2008

Pantsers vs Plotters

In the writing world there are two kinds of writers. Writers like to split themselves into pantsers and plotters. Pantsers are the writers who see a scene or talk to a character, sit down and start writing a book. In other words, they write an entire novel by the seat of their pants. Plotters are writers who like to have an entire outline done before they even begin a book. They like a plan. They enjoy structure. They want to know where they're going before they get there.

There are pantsers or sometimes they call themselves into the mist writers, who stumble on a plotting method and suddenly convert to plotters. But I've never know a plotter to try writing like a's simply not in their nature.

Personally, I prefer writing by the seat of my pants, but I've found that often leaves me with a completed book and trouble boiling down the message into short marketable pitches. My solution? Once my book is done, I take Randy Ingermanson's Snowflake Plotting Method and plug in my new book. Doing this plotting exercise after I finish the book "feels" better to me because I know where the book goes. Often when I write, what I plan to write doesn't come out that way. Doing the exercise after helps me to see the clear cut theme in my book. Goals, motivations and conflicts pop right out. It also helps me to understand when a revision is needed because a conflict isn't strong enough.

You can find his method on his website www.advanced There are people who love to use this for plot. I enjoy using it for marketing. Either way it's an interesting method for any novelist to look over and see how it works for them.

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