Plotters vs. Pantsers

I have a confession to make (in case you haven’t figured it out).

I’m a Pantser.
Yes, it’s true.  I don’t plot my stories.  I take them one scene at a time, not even necessarily chronologically (the adverb police are knocking at my door!!!!).  Then I keep track of the scenes on various sorts of charts or just notes so I can see what the story needs and where.  So basically, I outline the story while and after I write it to make sure that I get all the elements in there.  I cannot plot it beforehand.  I’ve tried (as anyone who has had to put up with me for the past few years can attest).  I’ve tried EVERYTHING, because it just looks so nice and organized, having a plan ahead of time.  But nothing give me writers’ block worse than having thought the entire book out in advance.  I get bored.  My characters keep rebelling, telling me, “We’ve done this already, we want to go on a NEW adventure…”  It feels so repetitive, plotting and outlining, and then doing all the writing.  I’d much rather pour the story out onto a paper, and then rewrite it in a way that makes sense.  Even though it seems like it’s more work at first glance, it really just works better for me.  At least I get the fresh, raw emotion out in there, writing the scene that I want, when I want it.  The only times I have issues with the way I work is when a new book on writing comes out.  The way they say to write is so LOGICAL.  So clean, organized.  It seems like such a good idea!!  So I try it for a month or two.  Then my work dies.  I just don’t do organized and logical.  I’m an Aquarius.  I have to say though, I do envy those Plotters at times.
I’m about to start reading the Tusculan Disputations.  I translated it in college, and it was this work that inspired my idea for Mea Tullia.   This is Cicero’s work on grief and death and happiness.  He wrote it after his daughter died, as a way of exploring what was going on with him, and a way to find some comfort.
Does anyone have a suitcase that is small enough to carry onto the train (vs. me having to check it) yet will fit everything I need for the conference?  Like, we’re talking about breaking Newton’s law of conservation of mass here…  
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2 thoughts on “Plotters vs. Pantsers

  1. Pansters unite!!! See, I love to write like 5,000 words and then sit back and manipulate the words, make sure it’s following the major story goal, and then sit down and write 5,000 more. To me, that is why I write. I love the process. But I do envy plotters for their ability to plot a story and then sit down and write X pages per day until completion. They avoid the emotional roller coaster that we pantsers ride.Good luck on the suitcase. When you find one, let me know what brand it is. I’ll need it at the end of March 🙂

  2. Well, the only suitcase I would actually buy would be the $12 one from Target. Starving artist here, right? But get this: I got all my stuff (so far) to fit into a tapestry tote bag that zips up that I bought from the Christmas Tree Shops for $3. WooHoo! Since the train ride is three and a half hours, I don’t think the stuff will get too crushed by the time I get there if I hang it all up right away. That’s the theory, anyway…For this conference, there are parties and stuff after the conferency things. So I am bringing a couple extra outfits, but trying to match them all around the same pair of shoes so I don’t have to bring more than one pair. Heh….

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