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Point of View: Under the Gun

Pantser vs. plotter

There’s a lot of discussion these days about whether, as a writer, you are a pantser or a plotter.

Pantsers, as the name implies, write by the seat of their pants. It’s like they open the door to their new story and just go out wandering in the world to see where they end up.

Plotters, on the other hand, are the folks who sit at the kitchen table with a map and a copy of the AA hotel guide (geez, that dates me, doesn’t it?) and know every step they plan to take, though of course it’s all subject to change.

Me? I was a pantser. Total dedicated no fricking idea where I’m going pantser.

And you know what? I ended up with a bunch of starts to great stories that never got finished. I could write a helluva great first scene. But I had no idea where to go from there.

Flash forward to today, and I am a plotter. Well, a plotter with pants.

I’m in the midst of a novella that’s due in two weeks. 30k in three and a half weeks, plus edits. Insane, right? So I’ve had to resort to SOME plotting. I came up with a story idea and laid out the basic things I wanted to happen. It’s waaaay too loose to actually call it an outline, but it’s at least a road map to getting where I wanna go.

And then my pantser side came back with a vengeance. I was about halfway through, and the whole premise of the story changed. We’re talking paradigm shift with a vengeance.

Now I’m glancing nervously at the clock and wondering why I let that side get the better of me.

Will he finish the story on time? Will it make any sense? Will he be mentally unstable by the end of August? Stay tuned to find out.

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