Hot Pants…or Why I Don’t Plot

It’s Wednesday!  No lost days this week…at least not so far.  And this week’s Blog Carnival Question from YA Highway is:  Are you a plotter or a pantser? 


I’ve actually posted on this subject way back in November (Here’s a link to that post).  And my writing style hasn’t changed much since then. 

To summarize: I’m a pantser.  I usually visualize a beginning and an end, then write to connect the two points.  This method works for me…most of the time. Sometimes I get serious writer’s block (haven’t added anything to my WIP since April 28th…yikes) and it takes a long time to figure my way out.  I know what has to happen next, but I’m having a hard time getting the words onto the paper. 

It happens. It’s frustrating.  I’m working on it. 

There is one thing always seems to help me get unstuck.  I write a synopsis for a query letter (not that I have to query any more…phew!).  It’s sort of like a mini-outline that identifies the major plot points.  Here’s a link  for what I wrote for THE BIDING TIME.  It’s certainly not perfect, but it helped remind me where my story is supposed to be heading. 

I’m hoping SAW IT COMING will go on submission soon, and maybe (just maybe) someone will be interested in turning it into a series.  And perhaps that editor would like to see my plans for the next book (an agent I talked to told me to prepare one…just in case).  I might have to write an actual, detailed outline.  My first attempt…well it turned into the first scene of the sequel (and it was way hotter than I intended. Which is sort of the reason I don’t like to plot — unexpected awesomeness!). But I’m interested to see how outlining will change the writing process and if I’ll be able to stick it. 

Doubt it.

How many of you are plotters/pantsers?  If you plot, are your outlines rigid or fluid?  If you’re a pantser, do you get writer’s block frequently or does your imagination always pull you out of trouble? 

16 Comments

  • katyupperman.com

    Oh, I’m envious of you pantsers! I’m a total plotter (I need a plan so I don’t get overwhelmed!) but my outlines are fluid. I’m constantly adding and deleting as I write.

    Love the picture of you and your kiddo! 🙂

  • Heather Howland

    Oh, man. I have a pantser friend who is having to write outlines for the rest of a series and it’s not going well. I’ve seen your particular brand of madness before!

    Me, I’m a plotter. My outlines are rigid, which keeps me from getting writer’s block. If I know where I’m going, I never get lost. It’s a win-win!

    Good luck with your outlines!

  • Tracey Neithercott

    I love the unexpected twists and turns that happen while pantsing it. Of course, I wouldn’t mind the cleaner first draft that comes from plotting. I thought about the fact that with subsequent books (if you’re open to a series) you have to write an outline or synopsis. That sounds kind of scary!

  • Theresa Milstein

    I’m a panster too. And I also write a query as soon as I have the major plot points. But I may take days or even weeks between scenes soI have some sense of what I’ll write. Other I write right away.

    Before this last WIP, I used to be more panster, writing the whole thing in about 6 or 8 weeks.

  • Rachel

    I’m much like you. I need a beginning, an ending, and a climactic scene in my head before I start. Then I just sit down and write to see how things connect between those points. I’ve tried a bunch of methods, and that’s what works best for me.

  • JEFritz

    I’m definitely a pantser. I know what’s going to happen, but never how until I sit down to write the scene. I always here good things about plotting, but I can’t imagine sitting down and figuring out the story unless I’m writing it!

  • Angelica R. Jackson

    I think if my books were more series oriented, I would definitely be plotting a wider story arc. As it is, I know there are certain points I want to hit (the conflict, etc) and fill in the blanks.

  • Alison Miller

    I do both, although I’ve been doing some detailed plotting lately. But I sure do like to see where my stories take me – it can be frustrating at times, but oh so fun and exciting too!

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