Plotting, pantsing, and my stack of notebooks


When I decided to write a novel, I jumped in headfirst  without any real roadmap of how to actually write a novel. Because who needs to plan?! Not me!

I knew what my story was going to be about. I had names for my characters and for the creatures that would be having misadventures along with them, the places they would go and what kind of hell I had in store for them. And like a true “pantser”, I plunged ahead with all of this without cobbling together an outline. Outline was a dirty word that brought back memories of high school term papers and disgruntled English literature teachers that were very disappointed in me.

But in the months that followed, a large part of writing my novel became world building. I mean, you can get really carried away with creating fictitious systems of government, currency, cultures, religion, geography, and the people and animals that inhabit your universe.

I got so carried away I filled a five-subject, a three-subject, two one-subject notebooks, plus two smaller, journal-sized notebooks, and five Pinterest boards with plot points, timelines, setting, character sheets, dialogue, wardrobe, religion, and other details about my fictional world. And I became a weird hybrid of both plotter and pantser.

Are you a plotter, a pantser, or both?


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