Plotter or Pantser? Tell us why.


Today is day 12 of the 31-Day Blogging Challenge. I’ve covered topics ranging from the worth of an editor, where we get our inspiration, and how to find time to write in the busyness of life, to how hard it is to write when we don’t know what to say. I’ve touched on what to do when distractions come our way, shared helpful resources, and discussed how to pick a catchy title, and design an attractive cover. Let’s not forget getting out of our comfort zone to write about things we know little—or nothing—about.  What’s left?


Why do many write by the seat of their pants while others write a full outline a head of time?

I’m a pantser, 100 %. If I wrote an outline, my short attention span would keep me from following it. I’ve asked my Facebook friends which they do and why. I’m surprised to see some do both. As a thank you, I’ve added a link to their website and/or books. Check them out.

“Pantser. I naturally write chronological, but my skills were honed as a Hollywood screenwriting to figure out scenes and flow in my head while working.” Shawn Lamb

“Both. I begin with a basic chapter and scene outline where I work out timelines so I know what happens, when, and where. I discover the “how” while I am writing. Sometimes that blows up the outline, so I redo it. For me, it has proven to be a powerful approach. It gets me started but allows the muse to take control and surprise me. She always pulls me deeper into the story. It is a scary, fun way to write.” Sydney Matheson Avery

“I am a Plotter. Why in 20 words -> “Because my mind constantly goes in so many different directions, without a defined outline, my books would never get completed!” Jason Tremere

“I’m both. I plot the entire story in my head, then write it. Many times the plot takes a turn but I always know the ending.” Gloria Doty-High

“Pantser most definitely. I write like I read and want to build the suspense.” Sarah Butland

“Both. First, I pants my way through a book, because I see it as a movie in my head. Then I plot, so I can connect dots and make sense of it.” Dawn Torraville-Cairns

“Plotting gives me a framework to see where my ideas fit, what other ideas they require, and perhaps how I can add a twist. It lets me brainstorm for the best options, instead of taking what comes first. I don’t “pants” well. Let’s me write faster, too.” Janet Sketchley

Pantser. I start out with an idea and my characters tell me where to go. If I plotted, it would be completely different from where I end up, so why bother.  Sami A. Abrams

“Pantser turned plotter. Found having focus helps me write tighter and faster. Not so many rewrites needed.” Susan Lower

Are you a pantser or a plotter? Tell us why in a comment below.


2 thoughts on “Plotter or Pantser? Tell us why.

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