Here i will share my journey of hopefully one day recognising my dream of becoming published writing what i love to read; Romance!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Plotter vs Pantser

I've had a comment in a previous post asking if i write outlines for my stories and it got me thinking. I am generally a organised person. (Though if you look at my house you may beg to differ! It is an organised CHAOS!)
Many times in my reading of other blogs i've often come across the terms 'plotter' and 'pantser' and it's only recently that i've actually understood what the terms meant. Okay i may be a bit slow, but when i get it it usually sticks!

I'll start with 'pantser' as i am not one of these.
This is the type of writer who "flies by the seat of their pants", if you will. They start with an idea, a character, a scene, whatever and just start with no map, no outline and let the characters take them where they want to be taken.
Don't get me wrong. These writers generally do the background work - i'm reasonably sure! - on their characters (questionnaires, surveys, everything to know them inside out) first. That way they know how they will react in the situations they find themselves in and this propels them in the story.
The story for them is as much a mystery as when the reader the picks it up for the first time.

The 'plotter', writers like me, like to have it all mapped out, have a detailed or a rough outline of how the story is going to unfold. The writer knows what is going to happen, when and how.
For me, this is where my problem unfolds.
I become a bit bored. I have mapped it all out - i have to know how to get from A to B to Z or i get lost and frustrated - it is the organised part of my chaotic mind!! So i know how the story ends, there are no surprises. So i find as i am writing, i am constantly changing this scene or that scene down the road, so my stories are constantly evolving.

I guess that would put me somewhere in between the pantser and the plotter!
The question i would like to put out there to other writers this week is: How do you keep your writing exciting if you are a plotter? Are you published (or unpublished for that matter) writers ever fully satisfied with your finished pieces (i'm talking about the thousand times edited version, not the dirty draft!)?

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kerrin,

    No never satisfied with end product.

    Each time I go back to a novel (put aside for several weeks being my policy)I tweak tighter, or expand on content relevant to scene.

    I guess any writer (published or not)would say they're rarely satisfied with finished work.

    In fact, there are authors (best-selling) who dread editor interference and one editor in particular who said she so altered a novel once that it no longer read as the original. She promptly told the author to represent the original manuscript which went straight to press!

    The editor worked at Orion publishing, she was also a director/founder of the company!