Diana’s Sunday Quickie: Plotter or pantster?

I’m a planner… who turns into a pantster. (For those of you who don’t know, a “pantster” is someone who writes by the seat of their pants, i.e. without outline or plan.) I always write out a fairly comprehensive chapter-by-chapter outline, but the finished product has very little resemblance to that first outline! I usually stick with the outline until about halfway through…which is about the time that I discover that the book wants to take a different direction. From that point on I end up writing by the seat of my pants (even though I try to convince myself I’m still following the outline.) And, since I tend to write my first draft in “spew the words out as fast as possible and fix the problems later,” this often means that I’ll rewrite most of the first half to go with the second half.

Yeah, I know, it’s kinda psychotic. Sometimes I wonder if I should even bother with the outline at all, but since I write police procedurals/mysteries I feel like I need to have some sort of path laid out so that the mystery remains mysterious!


1 Response to “Diana’s Sunday Quickie: Plotter or pantster?”

  1. March 30, 2009 at 2:47 pm

    But in a way, just saying that it’s a police procedural indicates some sort of structure. Deaths, clues, investigation, red tape…You just need to figure out what goes where and when 😉

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