Monday, July 19, 2021

Dena's thoughts, opinions, and experiences - plotter vs. pantser!

This week, all of us OA team members will be providing our thoughts, opinions, and experiences on - "Is it better to be a plotter or pantser?"

What kind of writer are you?

Pros and cons #1

Pros and cons #2

Deciding which one you are can save your writing life

Why you should be both

Quiz #1

Quiz #2


For my first manuscript, I had a general idea where I wanted to go and I started writing.  End result was a LOT of reorganizing and editing before I had something that worked as a story.  I sent out around 50 queries [in batches of 10] before I realized the story needed more work.  It's still not entirely finished.

For my second manuscript, I didn't even have an idea of where I wanted to go.  I had a concept and a few scenes only.  End result was so much reorganizing and editing that it took me YEARS before I had something that worked as a story.  This one is ready to query and I'm waiting until after the August publishing slow-down before I enter the query trenches.

I love both of these stories.

HINT:  Use something like Scrivener.  It's MUCH easier to move stuff around than writing in Word.  I can personally attest to that!

For my third manuscript, I'm playing around with several concepts and scenes, and creating a rough [very rough] outline.  Once it's finished, I'll start writing and leave myself open to deviate from the outline if something exciting comes up.  I can see the benefits of having an outline, because theoretically it will help me avoid the years of reorganizing and editing that the first two manuscripts required.  At least I'll be starting with the bones of story structure.

So, assuming that this "rough outline" actually works for me, I would categorize myself as a semi-plotter.  I'm not creating a detailed outline, just a scene list and description of how that scene moves the story/character/plot forward.  I'm definitely not interested in any more pure pantser manuscripts.  Those are too much work!

Are you a plotter or pantser?  Or somewhere in between?  What's your guess for whether the other OA team members are plotters or pantsers?  Come back every day and see if you're right!





1 comment:

  1. I started out as a panster and wrote about 20,000 extra words I had to cut. Now I'm a semi-plotter like you to give my first draft more structure so I don't have to do so many edits.

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