Tuesday, September 7, 2010

plotter or panster?

Plotter or panster? That's the question this month. As an editor who also writes, I'd have to say my answer to that question is a combination of both.

I don't exactly draw up detailed charts and graphs, but I'm not constantly taken by surprise by where characters lead me. I like to do a short synopsis then write the bare bones story first. I go back after that and flesh out the story, develop the characters, and add historical details...etc.

I've tried the more complicated plotting, having a notebook with sections and color-coding things; it was all very organized. That worked fine, but it was a real change for me, and I haven't done it since.

I don't normally sit and write a story through though, without some thought first about direction and goals. I'll make notes. If plot holes pop up, I'll do more research. Sometimes a chart or two come in handy, and so do timelines.

After it's all done, I of course go over it all again carefully to make sure all my added details fit in with the overall story quite logically. It's so much fun writing a book. Don't you think? -Corinne M


  1. I'm a pantser. Would love to change that but...I kind of like when the characters surprise me too. Also kind of like Jo Beverley's take on that: Flying into the Mist http://www.jobev.com/fim.html

  2. I start as a pantser, turn into a plotter, then I plod through revisions. I never start my book where it should start. I always end up with a different opening chapter. The opening chapter of the book I just finished, ended up being chapter seventeen. You know most editors say we start too soon. . . I apparently start too late.

  3. Dear Lord, I wish I could plot! I'm a pantser all the way. Even when I try to plot, my characters end up taking over.

  4. Writing is fun no matter how the story comes together. But what makes it rewarding is when you finally get THE call or THE email!