For those who may not know what I’m talking about here, a plotter is a writer who outlines. A pantser is a writer who flies by the seat of their pants.
Faran: I’m a little of both, outliner and panster. I plan ahead when it comes to key points (inciting event, binding point, turning point, etc.). But when it comes to writing each chapter, I easily get lost in each scene and I think that adds to the excitement and suspense of the story. Because of this spontaneity, I often have to go over each chapter when I’m finished to make sure there are no inconsistencies (sports stats, details out of order, etc.). One thing I find really helpful is to make a list of major plot points and powerful moments I know I want to include in each chapter. That way, I make sure to include those but also give myself the freedom to add in new exciting scenes as well.
Jonathan: Pantser or plotter? Well, I’d like to think that, for once, I would get an easy question for Thursday, but noooooo! Truth is, I’ve done both. All my novels, I’ve insanely plotted, but for my last one, I just went with an idea and how I wanted it to end, and went with it. It was fun and freeing, but I still had the basis of the plot in my mind. I do like both methods and don’t say one is better than the other, but I will say, if you are a pantser, you better, at least, have a very good idea of how the plot should go, or you risk muddying everything up. So, my answer is both!
Cathy: I was a pantser, and I got pretty lucky that things seemed to fall into place where they were supposed to plot-wise. I have taken to outlining some of the story, but right now the re-write I’m in the middle of, in spite of the outline, is taking its own twists and turns. What can you do? Go with it!
Melody: I am definitely a planner, but you know what they say: “The best-laid plans of mice and men…” My plans often go awry, so I end up writing completely different, very detailed outlines for the same book.
Stacie: The answer to the age-old writing question, Do I outline or do I write by the seat of my pants? It’s not that simple. I sort of do a hybrid approach. I write a synopsis, blurb, and sketch out key scenes. Then I fill in the blanks as I write. Except when I write without a plan, whatsoever, just a vague feeling propelling me along. Like the one I’m working on now. Which I’m totally pants-ing. Sooo that makes me a poutliner, I guess.