It’s my first year IWSG anniversary. Last year flew past by the speed of lightning. IWSG (Insecure Writers Support Group) is an online group started by Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh. We share our insecurities, fears and doubts and help, support and encourage each other.
IWSG members post on the first Wednesday of every month. Due to the first day of the new year falling on the first Wednesday this month, the IWSG date was postponed to the second wednesday. Check out the IWSG website, its full of useful information for writers.
One of my biggest writing worries is that I am enjoying being a panster more than being a plotter. Earlier I was a plotter: plotting every scene. From the past three months I love the freedom that a panster enjoys. Though I still have a loose plot (beginning, middle and end) in mind when I start writing, it’s the freedom of writing each scene spontaneously that has unleashed my creativity in a big way.
This has me worried as I always feel plotters write better stories than pansters as they have every little move plotted down in minutest detail. Again, it’s a personal belief that a panster’s story may end up with some loopholes or manholes which readers may find a fault with.
Last year when I plotted my trilogy in detail, I realized that it was kind of holding my creativity back. I was unable to write for many days. Frustrated with this logjam, I put away the trilogy and rewrote an entire book in less than a month courtesy my panster method. The ideas tumbled out of my head like a river the moment I decided I would not stick rigidly to the plotting method. I am writing another book using the panster method.
Does anyone else have the same problem like me: half plotter and half panster? If yes please share how you all manage to curb your panster traits.
P.S. Hope you all had a relaxed holiday with your loved ones. Its nice to see you all again.
I honestly believe neither is better than the other. It's simply a matter of finding which style works for you. And that may change too. I personally love plotting, but pantsing sometimes comes calling. Both require as much editing as the other too.ReplyDelete
I have a concrete story-line in my mind, by the time I start writing a book. But I write it slow so that I have plenty of time to think about individual scenes/happenings.ReplyDelete
I agree with Lydia. And I'm only part plotter too. I plot the main plot points out and start writing. As I go, I may write down the scenes I need before I get to the next plot point and that helps me deal with the blank page fears. So do what works for you.ReplyDelete
Wish you a very happy new year Rachna. May it be a great one for you!ReplyDelete
I think being a panster is perfectly fine for a first draft, so long as you have a loose structure to follow. Like you say, you don't want to handcuff yourself or stifle your creativity. Once that first draft is done, then the plotter can step in and add a little structure.ReplyDelete
I'm definitely a pantser, although I usually have the complete story in mind when I start.ReplyDelete
I'm definitely a plotter, though my outlines and plans change as I'm writing. I love having an outline before I start writing, I need it, but the writing process always brings out new ideas that make the story better. So I tweak my outline as I'm writing. I guess I'm an organic outliner then. I think that's how many plotters are!ReplyDelete
Whatever process works for you is the right process!
Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines
You have to find the style that works best for you, since we are all different.ReplyDelete
I'm a complete plotter. Outlining a book makes me get excited for it. I still find beginnings to be the toughest, though, since it's all about finding the voice, even with a plot. :)
I have a friend who is a complete pantser, but she edits like a plotter. Maybe something like that would work for you.
I'm half and half myself. My editor hates it when I don't send him something in sequential order. But that's the way I write. I do sections at a time and bounce around.ReplyDelete
Oh yes I agree! I would say I'm more of a pantser when it comes to writing. I have notes on characters, setting etc and rough plot thoughts but really all the best stuff seems to come when I just let go and let the story unfold.ReplyDelete
I am a total pantser - I make notes about things I need to come back to or add in or delete, but my writing is very organic, coming from the heart, not the head.ReplyDelete
I always plot and outline, but either way can be successful. It's all what works for you, Rachna.ReplyDelete
I think you can do both. If you write the first draft panster-style and then convert what you've written into an outline it should be easier to see where the plot get muddled or weak and rework it. You don't have to plan it from the beginning, you can wait until you have something to work with.ReplyDelete
Then again, it might all click first time.
Do what works. I almost always discovery write (pants) my flash fiction and as projects get bigger I outline more, generally speaking. Outlining doesn't work for me because I take the way I phrase things naturally and shape the story to fit. Sort of. Like if I decide to go light-hearted in the first paragraph, everything builds off of that choice in voice. Outlining how things are supposed to end up would frustrate me in revisions as I would have to go back and make sure everything is phrased the way I want it to resemble the events in a logical way. (I promise this makes more sense in my head.)ReplyDelete
I would go with whichever method gets the story out, and if you are writing more creatively, you're probably using the right method. As for whether there are potholes in the draft that come out, there always are potholes, and that's what revising and editing is all about. Even plotters have to revise, and sometimes many times. Enjoy!ReplyDelete
I'm a plotter. I used to be a pantser but then tried plotting and never looked back. I love plotting. The way I do things, I plot the main storyline and the subplots but I also leave room in-between for spontaneous things to happen. It keeps me on my toes and keeps the storyline fresh in my mind because even though I know where it's going, I also know that anything can happen.ReplyDelete
I am a plotter, 100%, but I don't think I plotters write better stories then pansters. I would think they both eventually get to the same spot at the end. Good luck!ReplyDelete
I'm trying something a little new with the new book. Instead of finishing it, I've left the ending unwritten and am going back now and planning with what I've got. I'll let you know how it turns out.ReplyDelete
I agree with Lynda - I don't think either style is necessarily better. As a punster, I stop every three chapters or so, take a pulse of my pacing and character development, look at my main plot line (in 1-2 sentences), and then go again. It keeps me focused on the theme behind the story. Revision takes care of the man-holes. :)ReplyDelete
I am a proud Pantser! I like to have the creative freedom. I think I would benefit from being half and half like you, but then if I try to work on even a tiny outline, I panic and write absolutely nothing. They're both great, we all have our ways and neither is wrong. I love revisions because of my panting ways, it fixes the issues ;)ReplyDelete
I like to wear pants! ha! but my second book...yeah, I wrote a little brainstorm down of how I want it to go. sometimes when it's that intense of a story you just kinda have to do it!ReplyDelete
You go with your big, bad self!!! I think it's *amazing* you wrote a book in a month and are back at it again :)
More power to you, Rachna, and I think you have a solution on your hand - not a problem :)
I know just what you mean. I'm a plotter and so wrapped up in figuring things out before I write that I'm stymied. But I'll never go the pantser method. I know too many people who do that and have such big plot/character arc holes that they have to rewrite half the book. To me, that's a big waste of time. But everyone has to find the method that works for them. Good luck!ReplyDelete
I started as pantser and then became a plotter but I have not been able to finish anything after my conversion. I think Moody's advice is a good one. I will try it. Dragon hugs!!!!ReplyDelete
I read somewhere that the first draft is meant to be creative, the second draft is be for firming up the story line and the third is for fixing details like typos and spelling errors.ReplyDelete
Pantsing is all about creativity. If your story doesn't work, fix it in the next draft but keep the creativity of your original inspiration.
Good Luck! Leanne ( http://readfaced.wordpress.com/ )
I've never been good at starting with a detailed outline. I do love the freedom of seeing how the storyline will develop and change. As I get closer to the end, the outline gets more developed so that I can fill in those holes and make sure there are no inconsistencies. I'm a big believer in tying up loose ends in my books/stories. It just takes many, many reads and others reading to make sure there are no strands dangling.ReplyDelete
I think you may have the wrong idea of a panster... Let your creativity flow! In editing and through CP's and Betas you will find any plot holes or problems.
I am a panster at heart. But a bit of planning will never hinder your creativity. With many of my projects, I have a great deal of research. So there is where I "plot."
But once I get started I run with it. Only my current WIP is mixed. Since it is a 1940's noir, I need to look up the lingo to give the dialogue a truly authentic feel. But other than that, I have a run.
Writing should be fun and exciting to us. If we are not excited by it, our readers certainly will not be.
I wish you all the best this year and hope to read some of your works!
You are such a kind and generous soul and we love you in our community! Relax and enjoy your writing.
As for the King's cake... I have plenty... COMMON Over! LOL.
If you'd like the recipe, I'd be more than happy to send it to you. Just let me know!
Just back from the holiday hence delay in reading this nice post! Have a great New Year Rachna!ReplyDelete
I tried pantsing a few times, but it wasn't for me. I think it's whatever works for the writer.ReplyDelete