Tag Archive - Plotting vs. Pantsing

Outlining Your Novel – Whether You’re a Plotter or a Pantser

Today’s guest post is by Harrison Demchick.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

Pantser is a term that has come into vogue in the creative writing world over the last few years. When it comes to the process of writing, a pantser is one who flies by the seat of his pants, barreling his way to a completed draft with little planning and less revision. It’s an approach well-suited to writers who otherwise find themselves so stuck seeking perfection that they never actually finish anything.

I’ve never been one to fly by the seat of my pants. I’m a plotter. I plan. But I’ve also never been one to advocate for only one approach to writing. We’re all different writers with different writer brains. What works for one may not work for another, and as a writer you need to find what works best for you.

But fiction is complicated no matter how you approach it. And whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, I think there’s much to be gained by considering the value and application of a well-constructed outline. Continue Reading…

How “Pantsing” May Be Harmful to Your Health

Pantsing? No, it’s not in the dictionary. But it’s a common word among novelists. Hey, we’re wordsmiths. We can make up words if we want to, right?

In novel-writing circles, there are “pantsers” and plotters. Usually there is a great divide, with the plotters astonished the pantsers can ever get a novel written and the pantsers decrying that by giving in to outlining, a writer is wholly compromising her integrity and tossing creativity out the window.

Since I’m an avid plotter, and I’ve written countless blog posts that explain why, I’m going to wiggle out further on my limb and, once more, advocate for plotting.

And, in doing so, I will pop a few bubbles. Continue Reading…

A Look at the First Turning Point in Your Novel

We’re about to look at the “10” in my 10-20-30 Scene Builder concept. I suppose I should come up with a better name for this, but haven’t taken the time yet. Maybe you can help me come up with a better name.

But what I’m going to be doing is showing you how you might structure your novel in a practical way. While these thirty scene types represent solid story structure, keep in mind—and I’ll reiterate this numerous times—that this is only one (hopefully fun) way for you to put some structure to all your great ideas for your novel. Or maybe to use as a measure to hold up to your rough (complete or incomplete) draft to see what possible scenes might be missing from your story.

While this doesn’t help to point out the possible superfluous scenes you have that aren’t advancing your plot in a significant way, it will at least show you what scenes you probably should have. Those other scenes—well, they might be just the right transitional scenes. And then again not. Continue Reading…