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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

RTW: Plotter Versus Pantster

Road Trip Wednesday is a blog carnival, where YA Highway’s contributors and readers post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on our own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody’s take on the topic.

This week’s prompt was: Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I suppose I’m a mix of both. Does that make me a plotser? A pantter? Some other mash up of the two words? I don’t know.

Here’s how I work, in a nutshell: As I’m brainstorming my idea, I’ll take notes in a file of possible complications and reactions, scenes, characters, character traits, and so on. Before I start writing, I have the basic storyline in my mind. (Remember how I told you I view it like a movie in my head? I can’t write until I can daydream a few scenes from the story. I won’t deny it if you call me insane.) I need to know the beginning, the end, and at least five key scenes along the way. After that, it’s pantsing all the way.

But change is afoot. My next idea is too complicated to write like that, so I’m taking the plunge and outlining it. At first I was intimidated, but now I have a great routine. First, I stare at the computer.

Then I stare more.

And then keep staring.

Oh, and when I’m done with that, I shrug it off for another day. If anyone has a more, um, productive method, I’d be happy to hear it.

I’ll be honest: I much prefer to come up with scenes as I’m writing. Still, outlining can organize thoughts, which is what I majorly need right now. I’m hoping that some time before 2015 I’ll have it done. If I’m not finished by then, send supplies. Food is preferred.

Are you a plotter or a pantster—or a mutt?

Also. I’m inching toward 250 blog followers, and you know what happens when I hit 250: An awesome blog contest! But wait, there’s more! I hit 300 followers on Twitter. Since I promised to up the ante should I meet the Twitter goal before the blog goal, it’s now turned into CONTEST OF AWESOME SQUARED. I’ll announce the prizes when number 250 signs up. 

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