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Monday, April 13, 2015

Plotting vs. Pantsing

(If any of you watch Steven Universe there may be spoilers, I watched like 50 episodes last week and I want to use GIFs)

Plotting vs. Pantsing is a question long debated among writers (AKA me and some of my writing friends). I am a plotter. If I don't know where my book is going I'll end up writing nothing, or the equivalent of nothing. If often looks something like this:

And then the dancing french fries...

Needless to say I need at least some structure to make things happen. It's just how I roll. Even in life I need to know what's happening. I really hate spontaneous responsibilities. Just spontaneity in general is undesirable. So. Yep.
Anyhow, I do see some benefits to pantsing it, your characters can run along and do whatever they want, but sometimes they run off into uncharted territory and do something you weren't expecting.
You...really didn't need to do that...

Generally I leave a little leeway for characters to do what they like, but not too much, as I try to develop them and their personalities before I write them. Short stories and character sheets are good for this. Sometime in the future I might post a character development sheet with some questions that I think really matter to character development. Once I get around to it, you can request adding questions or taking them off.

Back to my original thought, since I got off track.
Which is better?
I'm going to be up front about this.
Neither of them.
It depends on your personal preference. While I prefer plotting, some prefer pantsing. It's personal to you.
I cannot think of a legitimate reason to post this GIF of Garnet riding around in Amethyst as a car but it's funny and I laughed at it so.



Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in between? Do you think you could write a novel in the opposite way (ie. Pantsers plot or plotters pants)?