Pantser, Plotter, or In-Between?

Welcome back to Motivational Monday!

Did you know it’s okay NOT to plot?  And it’s also okay if you’re not a free-spirited Pantser (one who writes by the seat of their pants).  Most of us fall somewhere in between the two opposite camps.

The only planning I do for my books is to know the main character, and mind-map the victim and possible people who’d want him/her dead.  Then I just follow my protagonist as she unscrambles the mystery.  (I go into depth in my book How to Write a Mystery Without Plotting It to Death.)  For me, the surprise of who-done-it makes the writing more enjoyable.  I figure if I don’t know, til the end, neither will my reader.

You need to find your own process–one that will work for you.

There are tons of books on plotting, as well as You-Tube videos.  Check them out.  I have no recommendations, because I don’t plot my books. (Sorry, you’re on your own here.)

If you’re afraid to just “wing it,” just remember a lot of writers do.  Stephen King (in Stephen King on Writing) says, “Plotting is for dullards.”  Ray Bradbury (in his Zen in the Art of Writing) tells you to jump off the cliff and build your wings on the way down. (How’s that for a leap of faith!)  And if you’re really ready to try Pantsing, read Dean Wesley Smith’s book, Writing Into the Dark.

So, here’s my “sage” advice, as an author of 19 books, and counting:  Experiment with various schools of thought–from plotting to just diving into your story.  You’ll probably use some advice from each camp, and that’s fine.  No writing is ever wasted.

Good luck with your experiments, and Happy Reading and Writing to you all,



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