Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Flying By The Seat Of Your Plot

We all have different ways of starting to work on our WIPs. Some of us plan, working out the details with a a keen eye until they know the blocks are there to write from. Some of us are pantsers (waves). We kinda, sorta know what we want to achieve, but the hows are a bit fuzzy.

My planning technique revolves around the beginning, middle and end. I write them down and build from there. It kind of looks like a dot-to-dot picture in the beginning, but the image builds up from there. This has advantages. I love the way I can see my story grow/adapt/shift as I write.

But the more I write/develop ideas, the more I seem to plan without realising it. Most of the time, I write the rough idea for the next chapter/scene down before I write it. There's still room to change things, but the fear of the 'I have no clue what comes next' is gone when I open the word document.

I've dubbed this hybrid as pantsplot.

Speaking of outlining, Amparo has started a new feature today... Outlining with Robert Pattinson. Trust me, it's genius.

What about you? Plotter? Pantser? Bit of both?

19 comments:

Jessica Bell said...

LOL! Love this. This is what I do! Love the term you've come up with too. It fits perfectly!

Shallee said...

I'm a bit of both as well-- someone once called me a "plantser." :) I've been steadily moving towards being a planner, though. I have to have characters, setting, and a basic plot outline figured out before I can start writing. However, ALL of that changes at least a little once I start writing. It's in the writing that I find all the nuances, details, and twists to make the story unique.

Thanks for sharing your personal style-- it's always fun to see a bit about another writer's process!

Áine Tierney said...

Bit of both! Pantser by nature, but it hasn't worked for me so far, so I'm planning much more on this MS. I'm even using spreadsheets - though I've only started using those now that I've a first draft to straighten out what I have!

Misha said...

I'm more of a pantser, although I do try to keep track of what I'm doing.

:-)

Janet Johnson said...

I used to dub myself a planner, but I think I'm a bit of both. Sometimes I can see the whole chapter before I write. Sometimes I just have an idea of what I want the reader to gain from the chapter. Pantsplot sounds like a good name for it to me. :)

Carol Riggs said...

Ooo, I like your coined term. I think I'm a pantsplotter too. :) I like having the general road before me, but I like the freedom and wiggle room for those "happy surprises" that pop up along the way.

Nicole MacDonald said...

I plot but how my characters get themselves to those plotted points is entirely up to them ;p

The Arrival, only .99c on Amazon
www.damselinadirtydress.com

Pk Hrezo said...

Oh, I'm a plantspot for sure. I plot my chapters out before I start writing. But that's just the bones of it. Once I start writing it's all a big surprise... sometimes I have to steer my characters back to the plot, since they tend to wanna do their own things some times.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Planner. I outline the entire story in detail before beginning. If I think of a new twist, I insert it into the outline.

Melissa said...

I definitely do both. Pantsplot at the same time for the win!

Devin Bond said...

I'm a definite plantser. Give myself the general idea of a plot, specific things I want to happen then just roll with it.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

Can I steal your term. I do it like you, with key plot points and then fill it in as I go.

Vicki Rocho said...

Pantsplot! I love it!

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I'm a plotter but there's always room for surprises. :)

Susan Fields said...

Your method reminds me of one of my favorite books on outlining (First Draft in Thirty Days), where it recommends reading over your scene for the next day so your subconscious can be working on it and figuring things out while you go about the rest of your life. It makes a lot of sense!

K.M. Weiland said...

"Pantsplot" - I like that. In fact, I may have to steal it for my book Outlining Your Novel: Plan Your Way to Success! I'm an unabashed outliner. I'd go bonkers without a road map. But I love hearing about how others make their writing processes work, with or without outlines.

Christina Lee said...

Same as you--pantsplot! :D:D:D

Regina said...

I definitely just take off running with it like a dog with a bone and just go with it. Sometimes when I come to a stopping point, I plot a little because I know what direction that I want to go in and then I do make some notes. But mostly I fly by the seat of my pants and write what the muse has in store for me for that moment.

Donna Weaver said...

WIP #1 & #2 were seat of the pants. #3 was outlined. When it actually came to the writing for #3having the outline really helped--until it was necessary to make a change that completely invalidated all the rest of my outline. =D