Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Plotter or a Pantser: Which One Are You?

When you write a novel, do you plot it out thoroughly from A to B, fly by the seat of your pants, or perhaps combine a mixture of both methods?

I use a mixture of both. Because I'm a character driven writer, in that I allow my characters to tell their own tales, I tend to not want to know too much before hand. I usually have a beginning in mind, perhaps a situation the protagonist finds himself/herself in and I often have an ending in mind, but other than that, I have no idea how I'm going to get from A to B.

I love the element of surprise. So often I find myself gasping in horror when a character decides to kill another character off, or the heroine does something foolish.

I once tried to plot out an entire novel before hand. A well known romance author taught me to do this during an online writing class. On paper, the story looked fantastic with its twenty outline points. I think the plot was an interesting one too. But do you know what? It's been two years since I outlined that novel, I even had a title for it, character charts the lot, but I've yet to write the damn book. I think creating that outline zapped a lot of my creativity and spontaneity.

I think I'm better off sticking with what I know and that is, I don't really want to know too much in advance.

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