Tag Archives: pantser

are you a plotter or a pantser?

I have been working on a short story. I am not sure, yet, if I want it to be part of a linked series, or to stand on its own.

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When I start writing I need to have an idea in place. I don’t write out a plotline, I just scribble down an idea, a character or a place where the character lives. Then adding what he or she looks like later.  In that first scribbled-off-draft  I am focusing on what they want.

Hmm, I can’t say I am a pantser. A pantser is a person who lets her character runs ahead and then writes whatever they tell her too write.

But, I can’t say I am a plotter either. A plotter is a writer who knows their story and has set up the action and path ahead of time.

Me…I’m a thinker, and imaginer, a daydreamer with an idea that wants to be written; But with no idea where it will take me until I think about it a lot, every waking and sleeping moment. If my characters start talking to me I tell them to ‘shut up I’m thinking.’

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If you have been following my Blog this month, you would have seen me writing about David Mamet’s Masterclass.com course. He said that a plot is as simple as getting from point A to point B.

Example: I need to go to the store. I need bacon and eggs. To get to the store I need to do a few things before I leave the house, getting dressed, finding the keys, locking the doors…etc. I could just drive there with no trouble, but…what kind of story is that.

The story needs conflict/drama. Just driving into town and grabbing bread and eggs and coming home is boring.

The drama/conflict will happen once I turn on my car. Something will happen to stop my character from making this an easy trip. The story will be about her trying to get to the store. She can’t change direction or it will be a different confusing story. She needs to keep on track no matter what is thrown in front of her. This character needs to get to the store

To make sure my character doesn’t walk back in the house and have a bowl of cereal. I need to get her in the car and drive away from the house and have car trouble at the halfway point.  She will make a  decision to keep heading to the store. She can stop at the local auto shop and they can come get her car.

My character’s internal goal is hunger. Her external goal is that she needs food in the house.

I may change up the story by having her get something to eat at a local restaurant, while she waits for her car. But… She will not give up that goal of getting eggs and bread. She still needs to eat tomorrow.

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Taken by Krzysztof Puszczyński Tookapic.comdrama

This is the bones of the story. So much can happen, I can’t  change what my character wants; food, in her belly and in her fridge.

I tend to rehash ideas over and over; turning them upside down and inside out, until they click.

Time to go back to my story. I left my character sitting in a hot car.

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