Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You Plot, or Are You Pants?

There are typically two ways a Wrimo can get through NaNoWriMo: plotting and pantsing. The first involves careful planification of your novel before Nov. 1 hits and the second involves, well, winging the entire story. Each category has its own extremes, but also a multitude of in-betweens.

I have tried both techniques, and discovered I am a plotter. Last year I had a complete outline with every scene for my first novel and I breezed through it. Every now and then I added a scene, removed one or extended another, but it never veered of course.

Ten days after the start, I was done. And I was forced to take the pantsers' way.

It turned out okay, although I am now rewriting that novel. It's easier to do that than major edits. What I realised, though, is that every day during classes (shhh!) I would plan out the next 6-7k of my novel, to be written when the evening came. I could not come home with no idea of what was going to happen. I needed that plan. So even when forced to spontaneously write a story, I ended up planning it.

What works for me does not always work for others, however. How about you, Wrimos? Are you Plot, or are you Pants?


  1. Both. Definitely both. My crack-filled novels are pantsing creations while the ones who need preparation are plotting-creations. However I do not follow those plans a long time. It lasts five days and after I am off to lalaland with Nano.

    Kind of awesome

  2. I used to be a big time pantser, but I've recently found the major ups in plotting to be right up my alley.

  3. I am pants. Pantsing is so much more liberating to me, and there are so many more options when everything is left open. This describes how I treat life, actually.

  4. Wow, many pantsers here! You guys impress me. :)

    And sushi: Strangely enough, I believe I do treat life as pantser, rather than a plotter. I deal with things as they come and try not to plan too far ahead. :)

  5. I'm a bit of both I think. Last year I was really pantsing the whole thing though cause I had no time to form a plan. But even so I planned a lot of things before hand in my head. It was about the middle of the month that I pretty much knew exactly what was going to be happening and how everything ended. This year I'm trying my hand at actually writing my plot out and outlining it on paper. I think things will be smoother this way but we'll see in just a few days. . .