No matter how long you’ve ventured into writing communities, you will find two writer types surrounding you. Plotter. Pantser. Each type possesses their own ways of achieving their writing goals. None necessarily better than the other. Just different and more fitting for the individual writer.
Who are you? Are you the plotter? The one planning with meticulous care, from start to finish, their special baby? In other words, the slow and steady wins the race approach.
Or, are you the pantser, like me, who lets freedom determine how the plot and characters will go? Say, if you will, the road less traveled approach.
Each type comes with their pros and cons. Only you can choose which one fits your personality better.
- Outline. Outline. Outline. Plotters have index cards, programs, and notebooks filled to the brim with roads leading to their story’s end.
- They are least likely to encounter writer’s block. (They can encounter it, but it’s not as hard to overcome the sticky situation.)
- Slow and steady wins the race. They tend to finish their books faster and smoother than pantsers.
- If they wish to change anything on their outline, they find the task daunting because that little change may cause the entire foundation to fall. One change may mean redoing an entire outline.
- If you step out of your comfort zone and pants a novel or short story, you might enjoy the freedom.
- Freedom! Get on a computer or find a pen and pad and start writing.
- Flexibility! Kill characters. Change settings. Smash an entire subplot. You’re not beholden to an outline. Do as you please. Kill! Kill! Kill!
On The Other Hand…
- You’re more prone to getting stuck without a clear road.
- Writer’s block is a beast when you’re a pantser. Trust me. I’ve spent months dealing with blockage because I got stuck. (But, once the blockage clears, I’m good.)
- More chance of leaving old babies for new babies. Ugh. I have stories I never finished because a new shiny story lurked my way.
- If you take the time to say, outline the middle or end of your story, you can alleviate any writer’s block and finish your tale. Once, I hit the middle, I tend to bust out the notebook and index cards and get busy.
Which group do you align yourself? Plotter or Pantser? Do you find yourself changing allegiance after a while? Or, better yet, are you a hybrid?
Whatever the case, happy writing!