To plot? To fly by the seat of one’s pants? That indeed is the question.

So you’ve found a story or two that you want to write about – amazing!  Maybe, with multiple plot bunnies at your disposal you’ve had to perform the daunting task of picking which one you’re going to write.  Either way, you’re now left with the question:  “What do I do now that I have a story idea?”

This can be complicated because there’s not a “one size fits all” approach to the “what’s next” question.

One way of approaching it is: Are you a plotter ore a pantser?

What is a Plotter? What is a Pantser?
Plotters are the writers who have outlined their novels.  It can vary to what degree the outline is, but by golly, by the time it’s time to write, there’s very little question about what ends up on the page. Plotters typically feel that creativity is best harnessed when there is a clear road map ahead. They also typically feel that having an outline is the best weapon against Writer’s Block.

Pantsers, conversely, don’t know what’s going to happen at any given point in the novel until they actually get there.  They’re approach is very impromptu and on a whim. Pantsers typically feel that outlines stifle creativity and that the best ideas come to you on the fly and in the heat of the writing process. Contrary to Plotters, Pantsers believe that outlining a story will lead to Writer’s Block, and that spontaneous creativity is less likely to suffer from Writer’s Block.

So which one is best for you?
Well, that’s up to you to decide.  You may find for one novel you’re a pantser, but then the next two you trend more towards being a plotter. There’s no solid rule to which one you should pick. Sometimes it’s necessary to be a plotter because of the genre or the complexity of the story you’re wanting to tell.  Sometimes all you have is a vague idea to go with and it’s all you can do to just run with it and see where the story takes you.  Neither method is right or wrong. Each method will eventually lead you to the end of your novel.  Just do what feels right and run with it. We all right differently and far be it for me to say one method is superior to the other.

Want to read more on the Plotter vs. Pantser debate? Just google “Plotter or Pantser” and check out the discussion.

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