• Jai Patel

Writing Style: Plotting vs Pantsing

Hey guys!

Today I want to share a little tip with you aspiring fiction writers out there. Shoutout to my fellow indie writer @alispadasian for asking me about this on IG!

Ah, I'm so glad I spent a lot of time understanding this because it has seriously stopped me from throwing my laptop into the tong sampah like Terry from Brooklyn Nine-Nine.

Now, you be Rosa and skip the heartache! Let's begin by understanding these terms: Plotting vs Pantsing

Plotting a.k.a. "Architects" > When you plan out every scene in your story (short, novel, etc) i.e. what happens at the start, in the middle, in the end. The operative word here is "plot". Imagine giant mounting boards filled with stick-it notes or scraps of paper all over the bedroom floor.

Pantsing a.k.a. "Gardeners" > When you make up the story as you go. This is a more exploratory way of writing. You keep writing and writing and go with the flow. Pants are optional, though. I prefer shorts when I write.

Clear so far? Good. Eh . . . but what kind of writer am I?

I'm glad you asked! You could be a Plotter, or a Pantser, or a combination of both. Alis told me that she's a Plotter a.k.a. Architect because "gardening is distracting." As for me, I sit halfway between the two styles of writing. At first, I thought I was a pantser but I quickly realized that I needed help along the way.

How did I find out? I kept getting stuck after every few thousand words. So I always make sure I have an Excel sheet (you can use anything, really) with all my major plot points so that I know where my next "checkpoint" is.

Anyway, if you're serious about starting (or finishing) your story, then I suggest you understand what style works for you. Because writing, writing anything, is a process. And knowing what type of writer you are is part of this long, painful, traumatizing journey.

P.S. I'd be glad to share and discuss more writing tips! Drop me a line anytime.

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