Thursday, June 17, 2010

Plodding and Pantsing

Are you a plodder or a pantser? No I'm not asking about your personal dress style. What this refers to is the way you go about writing a novel. Plodders (or plotters, if you will) like to have the story clear in their minds beforehand. They tend to use outlines. Pantsers (as in fly by the seat of your pants) like to make up the story as they go along. They tend to hate outlines.
I fall squarely into the pantser camp.  I like writing to discover what comes next. We pantsers will often say that outlines tend to make a story stiff and unnatural, which is true to a point. Of course, plodders will say that writing without an outline makes for a lot of wrong turns. Also true to a point.
So which is the right way? Both if you're a half-full kind of person. Neither if you're more a sky is falling type. Actually, right is what's right for you.

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