Reason #523 I Could Never Be a Writer

Reason #523 I Could Never Be a Writer

My calendar is like my bible. If it’s not in there, it doesn’t get done.

So that makes me think I’d want to be a plotter. But I hate making outlines. Actually, I hate making plans too. My calendar is mostly appointments and things to remember to do.

So maybe I’d be a pantster? But then it would probably just never get done.

Also, I have a slight tendency to ramble.

Are you a plotter or a pantster? Either way, how on earth do you do it???

  • sandrajones
    Posted at 07:28h, 29 August Reply

    I’ve done both (still do), but I enjoy myself more when I “pants.” It’s the joy of discovery while I write, and if I’m enjoying myself, then the story is usually better, too.

    Either way, I always do GMC’s for each character and keep a short plot synopsis.

  • Michelle
    Posted at 07:43h, 29 August Reply

    I’ve done both. Every time I try to outline, though, it gets tossed in the trash by the third chapter. I do spend a lot of time drawing up each character’s history, descriptions, etc. These days, I know where the story begins, and where it ends – what happens in the middle is up to the characters. I do have to get them back on track occasionally. They can be chatty fellas.

  • Kimberly Sabatini
    Posted at 08:02h, 29 August Reply


  • Roxanne
    Posted at 09:15h, 29 August Reply

    I’ve always been a pantster, but then I’d often write myself into a corner and end up abandoning the project for a few weeks (in some cases, a few years).

    After hearing author, Kimberla Lawson Roby, talk about the benefits of outlining I started to use this method. First I would just outline scenes. Then chapters. Now I generally try to do an ultra brief outline when I start a new project, knowing that the pantster in me (and those mischievous characters) will inevitably take me in another direction.

    Still having a road map to the story helps me get back on track. So no more abandoned projects.

  • Linda Grimes
    Posted at 10:41h, 29 August Reply

    Pantser all the way!

  • daisy whitney
    Posted at 11:19h, 29 August Reply

    Both. Some books more detailed than others but I at least write short synopses of the major plot points. For a book I just rewrote I did a 2000 word synopsis of the new plot before I started rewrite and then a shorter point by point of scenes I could keep and scenes to add. But all the details and magic come out in the pantsing of writing.

  • Mary
    Posted at 11:38h, 29 August Reply

    I’m definitely a plotter. If I try to start a story without knowing where it’s going, it usually either gets scrapped or has a terrible, implausible ending.

  • bridgetstraub
    Posted at 12:24h, 29 August Reply

    I’m definitly a pantser and the way I do it is by getting caught up in the story. I can’t wait to see what happens next! Just last night I was working on a WIP and the character picked up the phone expecting it to be one of two people. We were both surprised when it turned out to be a third person.

    • rravenel
      Posted at 12:42h, 29 August Reply

      I love it when things like this happen! It’s like getting a surprise. It can wreak havoc with plot, but usually it adds a new juicy dimension to the story.

  • ajdurrant
    Posted at 16:07h, 29 August Reply

    Both. I map out the points I need to hit, then figure it out as I go. Just as another poster mentioned, I tend to develop my characters first, then I have more ideas for scenes. Knowing my characters a head of time helps me keep the story on track.

  • Aurelia Blue
    Posted at 19:28h, 29 August Reply

    My stories come to me in dreams and I put them into words. So, I don’t know which one I am. I will say that sometimes the characters come back the next night and tell me I did it wrong, lol. 😉

  • Anonymous
    Posted at 22:16h, 29 August Reply

    I believe it was “the killers” that sang:
    Are we human, or are we pantsters?
    My sign is vital, my hands are cold
    And I’m on my knees looking for the answer
    Are we human or are we pantsters?

    And then they couldn’t decide either so they all ate delicious scones. I suggest you do the same.

  • Caitlin Whitaker (@Saycaity)
    Posted at 22:33h, 29 August Reply

    I used to be a pantser but I got detention. Plotting sucks too–if they can prove you plotted, the DA calls it “premeditated” and doubles your sentence.

    Now I just plot to pants because it sounds like “plotz your pants” and that’s hilarious.

    (Seriously, I’ve tried both and pantsing seems to work better. No matter how carefully I plot, there’s always a twist out there waiting to shake things up.)

  • Whirlochre
    Posted at 02:08h, 30 August Reply

    I prefer to take an outline and pants it out of its skull.

    • rravenel
      Posted at 07:08h, 30 August Reply

      Perfect description of my preferred method. Love it.

  • Sara B. Larson
    Posted at 20:03h, 30 August Reply

    I’m usually some of both. I get an idea and start writing, but after about 30-50 pages, I usually start a separate document where I write down ideas and notes as I go, and it eventually turns into an informal outline. I find it fascinating how different everyone’s process is!

  • Jen Iacopelli
    Posted at 15:33h, 02 September Reply

    Plotter, plotter, plotter *hugs her index card outlines tightly to her chest*

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    Posted at 15:35h, 04 September Reply

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  • Deborah Ann Lucas, Leaf River Writer
    Posted at 16:38h, 25 September Reply

    I write Memoir, but since I moved 50 times in 45 years, I have to make lists (I guess that’s a form of outline) in order to remember it all. Then I pants it for a while, but go back to outlining and index cards (via Scrivener) to be sure I am staying true to my logline (or rewrite the logline) and then I pants it some more. With Memoir, the hard part is knowing what to leave out. I thought finishing a manuscript was challenging until I started the editing process. Now that takes focus. That’s when I use all the structure tools I can find, from synopsis to outlines to index cards to just plain winging it. Writing is a complex process that requires time more than anything–years and years of it. ABC (Apply Butt in Chair) is my daily mantra.

  • Becky
    Posted at 14:12h, 19 November Reply

    I plot some in my head. But then I just write and let the story come out the way it wants. So pantser it is. Or skirtser. Depends on the day.

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