Monday, October 7, 2013

5-Minute MFA: Explaining the Lingo of Plotter v. Pantser (Day 7)

Plotters and Pantsers are newer terms to me. I honestly made it all the way through graduate school without one professor or peer using the term when talking about how they write.

It wasn't until years later when I was part of a romance writing crit group that someone started throwing those terms around. I wasn't too proud to ask the question and it was quickly explained to me.

Plotters plot their works out before beginning. They feel most comfortable knowing where they're headed and what's up around the bend and blind corners. I imagine plotters to be neat, organized, type A personalities. (I'm sure there are all sorts of plotters out there, honestly!)

Pantsers live by the seat of their "pants" (hence the name) and write a bit more on the fly. Sure, they might jot notes down for future use, but they only need to see a few feet of them at a time on their journey.

In my life, I've always been a pantser. I make lists and shun them. I leave them on counters. In my truck. Or stuck to the bottom of my shoe. I've never had time to be neat or organized.

But then I tried writing a novel. Or two. And failed. And by failed I really mean I got frustrated and gave up because I just didn't have the energy to figure out where this jumbled mess was headed.

I took a few plotting classes over the years and now live very firmly in the land of the plotters. I have to. I'm a quitter if I don't and now and then, I get really attached to my characters (especially now that I've moved to young adult and middle grade wasn't so hard for me to cast aside romance heroines...they're too perfect and often got on my nerves) and feel terrible when I dump a project because of plot failure.

Where do you fit in? Pantser? Plotter?

I've included a few links and resources for you and this coming week, I'll talk about different ways of plotting your works.

Plotter or Pantser: The Best of Both Worlds
The Pantser, the Plotter, and the In Betweener

Worksheets and planning
Compendium of Plotting Worksheets

Online workshops
Plotting Subplots with June Diehl
Scene By Scene with Sally Parker
Peculiars of Plotting with Monette Michaels

Miss a day? Check out my 31 Day MFA Challenge Master List!

 photo signature_zps3807abdd.jpg

No comments:

Post a Comment