YA Highway RTW: Plotter or Pantser?

Posted June 8, 2011 by elizatilton in Uncategorized / 15 Comments

Hmmm…let’s ask good old George what he thinks.


:crickets chirping:

Okay, thank you, George!

I used to be a full-blown pantser, but not anymore. On my first novel, I created extra work by not outlining and really thinking about the story. I found myself changing world rules, or a plot point, and then having to make sure that change filtered through the rest of the book–not fun.

Plotting is important. Yes, I still have scenes pop into my head that I scribble down, but now I outline and
research everything.

I found this fantastical way to plot on the Query Tracker Blog. For someone who is a fan of the quick and easy, this is gold. I love it. I used it for my current WIP, and I am hooked!

What about you? Got any great plotting ideas?

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15 responses to “YA Highway RTW: Plotter or Pantser?

  1. I've had a similar journey with writing. I pantsed everything at first – and that worked great! But now a days I do at least a tiny bit of plotting. I still don't do a full on outline, but I do research and make notes. I like to think I"m a combo!

    Thanks for participating!

  2. Me too! When I completely pantsed it, I made a lot more work for myself in the end. Then I tried extensive plotting and got bored with the writing. A nice in-between approach, where I have a very general roadmap, works great for me.

  3. I'm a plotter who's trying to learn to pants a little. That's a great method from Query Tracker, though! Thanks for sharing it.

  4. I made a rough outline but I've had to do a ton of revising, and I know next time I will do even more outlining. My outlines tend to be loose though, more like notes and ideas, and sometimes phrases or lines I want to build around. I even wrote a few scenes in a notes section, sometimes they fit in the story, sometimes not. Thanks for the link!

  5. You've given me some great ideas for things to account for when plotting. I started with a simple outline of events, some potential conflicts, but not so much things like world rules, etc. That would be another thing to add to my plot/outline/notes in my next project!

  6. I love that pantsers want to be plotters and vice versus. It's kinda like "I have straight hair, but would kill for curls."

    or maybe that's just me…

    oh, and Query Tracker rocks, if you haven't joined their forums, join now.

  7. Yes, I agree with you. I've wasted too much time writing without a roadmap. Now I write only the first one or two chapters freehand and then create a detailed outline. I revise it on an as-needed basis.

  8. Absolutely a planner. Even with planning, my first ms-Odessa-took several rewrites to get it right. But with my next it was a piece of cake. Of course, there is some pantsing as well since you can't plan everything that might happen until you're writing and it happens.

  9. I used to be a very strict plotter, but I eventually felt like I was stifling my creativity by planning everyone out, so I'm now half-plotted and half-pantsed… Which sounds way more exciting and scandalous than it actually is! 😉

    Off to check out the link… Thanks for sharing!

  10. I've been a diehard plotter since I started writing. I still pants my scenes, so I get a little of both worlds. Hey, thanks for the follow, fellow QTer!