Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pantserplotter, I Think

I've almost finished chapter five of the new book. It's going pretty well, considering I don't have every little detail of the book plotted out yet. I have the broad strokes, yes. I know where we're going with this one, what's at stake, mostly who's who and who does what to whom. There are some scenes missing yet on the journey from beginning to end.

I'd never heard of the term "pantser" before until a friend who's a member of RWA explained it. A pantser is a person who writes by the seat of his or her pants--no detailed outline for the plot conjured up beforehand. Organic might be another way to describe it. And then a plotter is, well...self explanatory. Outlines are detailed and fleshed out and the story is all planned beforehand.

With the last two epic fantasy books, I carefully plotted out each scene on 3 by 5 cards before writing it. The first one, I wrote without an outline. With the first Brenna book, I also plotted it out on scene cards beforehand. This second book is often getting its scenes written in detail before I even make a scene card for it. On the other hand, I have a lot of specific scenes plotted already. I don't seem to be either a full-fledged pantser or a truly consistent plotter, though I do plot scenes ahead of time as much as I can. I guess that makes me a pantserplotter.

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