Plotter or Pantser?

Me, I’ve always been a pantser, when it comes to plotting.  Which is writer-speak for being too lazy to actually generate an outline, a plan of the plot.  Just let the story flow, just let the characters tell the story in their own way.  And it has worked well for short stories (15 publication credits and counting).  But that doesn’t mean it’s the only way, and more importantly to me, that doesn’t mean it’s best suited for longer works.  So I am trying out plotting.

As I’m a novice at this, I asked Toby to help. Of course, I had to bribe him with the promise of a walk, but I needed a break.  And a bag of munchies.  And another cup of coffee.  Not sure if the process fits yet, but I’m trying it out. Stay tuned.

So to my writer buddies out there, do you plot or pants?

Either way, keep on writin’!

CR Hodges


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6 Responses to Plotter or Pantser?

  1. Andy McKell says:

    I prefer “organic” to “pantser” 😉

  2. crhodges says:

    Haven’t heard that term before but I like it also. Pantser is too much an inside joke for writers.

    • janschubert says:

      Being a writer who does things “by the seat of your pants” might be kind of an inside joke, but it’s so appropriate to how some people work that it’s hard not to use it! I’ve read books where it is obvious that there is no plot planning and things are happening at random. It shows.
      I like your method, Chuck, of tacking up your plot on the wall! That’s what I like to do with programs that I am trying to understand. Have a visible representation that shows the relationships between the parts. Inconsistencies will reveal themselves.
      I’ve heard of authors who are such plotters that they have outlines that are pages and pages, all the way down to what happens in each chapter. That seems like a bit much.
      So the goal is to find that sweet spot between plotter and pantser that fits!

  3. crhodges says:

    Yeah without plotting work of some kind it’s easy for those plot holes to develop. But over-plotting at the expense of an enjoyable yarn doesn’t work either, so like many things in life, a compromise is a good thing.

  4. Pingback: Writing from a plot, oops | CR Hodges, Author

  5. Pingback: Excerpt of the week: The Jötunheim Eruption | CR Hodges, Author

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