Am I a Planner, Pantser, or Plantser?

Today is Halloween (aka NaNoWriMo Eve)! If I don't get much done on projects during the year, November is the time when I usually hunker down and write a book. In the spirit of NaNo, I decided to answer the question: Am I a Planner, Pantser, or Plantser? And if you don't know what those words mean, I'll let you know!

There are three main types of writers when it comes to prepping a novel:

Planners: These are just like they sound. They plan. They outline. These types of writers keep detailed notes on their plot, subplots, and characters. If you sit down to write a book and find yourself with notecards doing a scene by scene or chapter by chapter're probably a Planner.

Pantsers: Pantsers write "by the seat of their pants"—hence the name. These writers sit down at a blank page and just go wherever inspiration takes them. There's no outline, no prep, just them and the blank page. Sound like you?

Plantsers: As you probably guessed by now, Plantsers are some combination of the two. Usually these writers will have a brief outline or a "bare bones" skeleton of where their story will go, and that's it.

Personally, I started out as a Panster. I never planned anything. When I wrote, it was like I was reading a new book for the very first time. Sometimes you'll hear writers talking about how their "characters decided that on their own". I'd often really just go with where my characters took me.

But after two finished novels I figure out that, while Pantsing is very fun, it doesn't make for good edits. Plots would get convoluted in ways that left plot holes that couldn't be easily fixed, and I'd shelf the draft (never to return to it again). So now, I'm a Plantser!

I still like to write like I'm experiencing my story for the first time, so I keep a minimal outline. I start with a log line, expand to a paragraph summary, and that's it. The rest is up to the stars! But this keeps my plot on a course for a solid beginning, middle, and end.

So, what kind of writer are you? If you're participating in NaNoWriMo

this year, look me up! This year's story is going to be fun.

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