Plotter vs Panster


Are you a plotter or a panster?

I put this question out to my fellow Aussie Owneder’s and found out what they were.

Our Plotters: Lauren, Emily

Pansters: Me, K.A Last, Sharon

A bit of both: Cass, Stacey, Susan

Since I am a great big panster, I needed to find out how plotters work. So I talk to the lovely ladies and also took it to the AZ Typelings because I knew there was at least one plotter there who could tell me about her process. So, now I can talk about both! Ah ha!

So basically a plotter is someone who plans out their WiP before sitting down and writing it out. A panster, on the other hand, gets an idea in their head and goes with it.

A plotter can do their planning in several ways. Some write out scenes in points, some write out a few sentences about each chapter, some structure it with, to quote little Emily, “introduction, theme stated, set-up, catalyst, main question of the protagonist, B story, fun stuff, midpoint, TERRIBLE DISASTER, finale.” Either way, they have a fair idea what’s going to happen and approximately how long the manuscript will be when it is completed. They can see the story as a whole before they start drafting.

As a panster, I can say that when I think up a story, I usually only know each scene as they come. I’ll start with a concept and roll with it. As I write I think up how it will end, and with that in mind, I let the characters and plot take me from point A to point Z, and yes, sometimes things happen and I’m completely blindsided by them!

There are pro’s and con’s to each. I know I’ve tried plotting and grew bored of the story before I even finished it, so scrapped it because it felt too predictable for me. But, a plotter can see everything before it happens, they can know what to expect word count wise and so forth, whereas I write out a first draft and have to go back and tie up lose ends in a second draft, and sometimes cut chunks out because the story is just too long.

Honestly, neither works better than the other. But one will work better for YOU. Don’t let anyone tell you what to do, or that you should try what you’re not comfortable with, because you’re the one writing it, you’re the one creating the world and characters, so only you can know what’s going to work for you.

So what are you? A plotter or a panster? How do you construct your story?

Katie Teller

Katie Teller is a writer of NA fiction. Her debut, Kiya: Hope of the Pharaoh, will be released by Curiosity Quills on 30th April. You can find out more about Katie and Kiya, on twitterfacebook or at her own blog.

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