Wednesday, April 18, 2012

P: Plotting

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
To define, a plotter is someone who outlines or plans their stories and a pantser is one who starts a story and sees where it goes.
People will sometimes tell you that their method, whether it be outlining or spontaneous writing is better. Don’t believe them. Find what works for you. There are pros and cons to both methods.
I personally do a mixture of both. I need to know the basic structure of my story before I can write it. But if it is too structured, I just want to write the doggone thing. My characters get restless if I take too long to plot. I get an idea of scenes and need to write them down or else they will fade.
The best plotting system I’ve ever found is the seven point system. I could explain it, but I couldn’t do nearly as good of a job as Dan wells. So here is the link to the youtube video.
It is certainly worth the time to check it out. It helped my plotting tremendously.
How detailed do you plot? Have you tried the seven point method?


  1. I plotted the A to Z months ago so I could spend more time commenting on others,

    Loved the P post.

  2. Agreed if we are too rigid about our plans or have none we may miss out on a good write

    I usually go with an idea but have plotted as well - they both have value
    thanks for your visit to
    ladys knight

  3. We just discussed this in my writing group ( recently and I've been reading Plot vs Character. My style: I have an general outline, I know the key items, and then I let the story take me. When I wrote my first novel, I KNEW it had something to do with Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis, but when my character's mother arrived, I pushed her aside, said "NO" and erased those lines. But she insisted on coming. Turns out she has a key role in a subplot. Who knew?


  4. sometimes i have an idea--but almost as often, i am just feeling inspired to write, not knowing where it will lead

  5. I think I fall somewhere in between. :)

  6. Hello, Jessica! I consider myself a plotter because I take the time to plan before I start writing. But once I sit down to write, if my imagination takes me away from what I had planned, then I just go with it and see what happens! So I'm a mixture of both, too. I think most writers are a mixture, but they lean more towards one or the other.

    I'll have to check out that 7-point system! Have a great week and happy A to Z!!

  7. I use to be a pure panster, but as I have more waiting time before edits, agent replies and the such, I find myself planning out my next WIPs. My last WIP was all in my head before I started writing it... but it took enough panster turns, too.

  8. Oh man, I've been meaning to watch this forever, thanks for the reminder, Jessica!

    I'm a panster, but sometimes I pantser to the point where I have to do a lot of plotting. haha Because I write big, important scenes (or have them planned) and then I have to plot out how to get there. So I guess I'm both?

  9. I'm a reformed pantster. I've noticed my writings improved drastically when I started plotting.

  10. I have tended to be a panster, though I look forward to taking Elana Johnson's class on simple outlning to help me do more of a blending of the two.