I Am Definitely Not a Pantser

Pantsers versus plotters, everyone knows people that fall into both categories.

I know I’ve talked about this before in the past, I’ve even explained that I used to be a pantser, never really understanding the difference. I never liked plotting because all through school teachers became so focused on the way that they wanted you to plot and it was nothing I enjoyed. I got nothing out of it because the way I write is so fluid and I don’t always write in order. So the rigidity of the way they made me plot hindered my imagination, it didn’t let it bloom and come forth.

So a few years ago, I tried plotting. It didn’t go so well, but it got done, it was almost like pulling teeth trying to get the outline/plot down for Goddess Born. I had so many issues trying to get from point A to point B and it wasn’t because I didn’t know where to go, it was because I was trying to fall back on the rigidity of the plotting days of school.

But I got it done, and with getting it done, I finally finished my full length novel.

Yay me!

That was a couple years ago. Then I started being a bad girl again, started writing a story without a plot and – shocker – I ran into roadblocks about four or five chapters in. This just confirmed for me, as a writer, I couldn’t be a pantser. I needed something to help me lead me through getting from start to finish in a timely matter.

But I needed to figure out the best way for me to plot. I couldn’t spend months pulling teeth to try and get a plot put together, because that wasn’t very productive. I needed to figure out a process to make my plotting and planning process more efficient so that my writing could become efficient and I could get more progress done.

So, I’ve been trying to make that process better. As my For Me post said, I really haven’t gotten anything done writing wise in the last 18 months. Life has made that difficult, my self-doubt has made it difficult to get anything done.

About two months ago, I sat down to try and figure out that process, because I wanted to get back to writing. And I think I figured out the perfect process for me.

I talked about a workshop from last year’s conference that helped spark this process. Basically here is the process I am going through to get an outline down on paper:

• First – I come with a brief “book blurb” type description of the story. Something to describe the main idea of the story.
• Then – I follow the “Five Major Scenes” workshop and determine what the five major scenes of that story are going to be.
• Finally – With those five points I have a basic map of where I need to go for the projects.

This seems to be the best process. The best evidence of this: I finished writing eighteen outlines within 2 weeks.

So I have a bunch of stories – obviously – in my head that I want to get started on.

I have a few things I need to do before I do – some basic world building and some research.

I am finally to a point where I finally feel like writing again, hopefully this will get me in a place where I can do that.

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2 thoughts on “I Am Definitely Not a Pantser

  1. Hi there,
    I found you via the Critique Circle.

    I can relate to this post. My first novel was not plotted out properly. The resulting mess that ensued took me 3 years and multiple re-writes to sort out. I have approached my second novel very differently, with probably a full year of thinking in my head and researching facts before putting fingers to keyboard. As with all art, spontaneity is great but technique and planning is essential… you can’t sit to draw without your paper, pens and a vision.

    Happy writing!

    • Thanks for the comment!

      It has definitely helped me immensely. I think what bogged me down previously in attempts to plot was really that I was plotting TOO much for my own creativity.

      Now when I’m plotting I am seeing the story in my mind develop and i leave enough description of plot points but leave it vague enough that I feel comfortable with my creativity and the ability to change it up when I’m writing and things change enough to effect it.

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