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  • Kelly J Massey

Plotter or Pantser?

This is a question that will come up often for new authors in writer's circles. They need to feel that the way their story is coming together is the right way and need confirmation of their choices.

Here's the thing; creativity is not limited to one way of doing things. To do so would defy the very essence of creativity in of itself. You don't think that's true? Go look up the definition of creativity and tell me there's only one way of doing things. You can't.

I think whether you're a plotter or a pantser depends entirely on your way of thinking. I've seen writers fill out what "character sheets" or place plot points on a large board AND they are color coded. If that works for them, that's great. That just isn't how I roll.

I work through my writing to discover my characters as the story unfolds, much like the readers themselves. I have a general idea of the main characters, but I don't really get to know them until they've faced peril, heartache, and any other stressors that I've thrown at them. I truly didn't know my characters until I finished writing the first draft. It was only then that I was able to refine their personalities, dialogue, and reactions in the revisions.

Yes, I am a pantser. I'm proud of it, too. If I tried character sheets or a bunch of sticky notes to plot out my book point by point I would mentally get stuck. I start writing and the story just seems to flow. Again, this is probably just my way of thinking as I've always been a forest but not the trees person-but it works well for me.

When I say I've written outlines for books three and four in the other parts of my website I literally mean I have written a paragraph about the book. That's my outline. That's how far I have planned, and that's all the plan I need to finish my writing.

Whether you are a plotter or a pantser is up to you and what is comfortable for your flow of ideas.

#plotter #pantser #outlines #firstdraft #revise #character

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