Plotter Vs. Pantser:

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Plotter vs. Pantser

“At heart, I would have to say I'm a pantser. I fully embrace the chaos of letting the unintended happen, on life and on the page.” ~ Margaret Stohl

Which one are you?

Have you come across these terms before my writing proteges? You have never heard these terms before? Allow me to increase your knowledge.

When writing a fiction story for your eBook there are two kinds of writers, a plotter and a pantser.

The writer who is a plotter is someone who plans out their novel every step of the way before they write it. The pantser writer, on the other hand, which this writer has declared himself as, is someone who flies by the seat of their pants, meaning they don’t plan out anything, or they plan very little of it and let their characters tell the story.


The plotter will follow the rules they learned in high school and create an outline for their story before they even begin writing it. Plotters will create all of their characters and develop personality profiles for them.

Plotters will then create a more in-depth outline with a plot, and character interactions as they decide how their story begins, the inciting incident, plot points, and how it will end.

After they have finished writing a detailed outline all that is left for them to do is to fill in the gaps with their creativity and write their story. There is no WRITER’S BLOCK for them to deal with, they just write the story they have already plotted out meticulously.

Like a coloring book, the image is already drawn out before them. All they have to do is fill it in with the colors they choose. When they have finished writing, they will have less editing to do because by following their map, the story will flow smoothly.

The plotter creates a defined image to be filled in with crayons at a time of their choosing with little room for changes. The pantser starts with a blank canvas, and the only image or limitations that exist for them are in their own mind.


Pantsers don’t plot their story from beginning to end. They create characters and let them take on a life of their own. The Pantser starts with an idea for a story and then imagines characters for their story. Once these characters have been created in the writer's mind, the author allows his characters to do their thing, and all the pantser needs to do is write about it.

Writer’s block is one drawback of being a pantser. By writing your story based on the ideas flowing into your head emanating from the minds of the characters, it is easy to have a disruption in the flow of your creativity. This is known as writer’s block.

Editing after the pantser is finished writing is also more difficult. Writing by the seat of your pants creates a less structured story, leaving more room for errors.

George R. R. Martin is an American novelist and short-story writer. George had a slightly different, although more eloquent way of describing the two different types of writers.

“I think there are two types of writers, the architects, and the gardeners. The architects plan everything ahead of time, like an architect building a house. They know how many rooms are going to be in the house, what kind of roof they're going to have, where the wires are going to run, what kind of plumbing there's going to be.

They have the whole thing designed and blueprinted out before they even nail the first board up. The gardeners dig a hole, drop in a seed, and water it. They kind of know what seed it is, they know if they planted a fantasy seed or mystery seed or whatever.

But as the plant comes up and they water it, they don't know how many branches it's going to have, they find out as it grows. And I'm much more a gardener than an architect.”
~George R. R. Martin

I prefer to be a gardener when I write my fictional stories. I plant a seed, let it grow, and then show my readers through my creativity what has grown in my garden. This method of writing is much better as a fiction writer, in my opinion.

If the architect wants to modify his fictional story after they have already drawn the blueprints, and writing has already begun he must completely change his outline to keep his story flowing smoothly. This would be an enormous waste of time, something a gardener would never be troubled with.

Outlining works great when writing non-fiction and declaring factual information, where the structure is important, but writing by the seat of your pants is better for non-fiction, in my opinion.

What is your writing style?

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