Are you a plotter or pantster?
As a writer sets out on his journey of producing his first novel, he must decide rather he is 'by the seat of his pants' kind of writer or one that needs the story formed before ever beginning.
This dilemma has plagued me over the years and I'm still undecided. Instinct tells me that I lean more toward the panzer side of the scale but I have tried every plotting technique I've come across.
With short stories, I am definitely a panzer. I start with an idea and just start writing till I get to the end.
A novel, on the other hand, is a much larger piece of work. Some plotting is necessary at some point.
I began a novel last year during National Novel Writing Month and the result was a great story idea, a beginning, an end, and multiple scenes. I've struggled to pull these scenes into a logical ordered pattern. Plot techniques have helped a little. But with my final attempt to pull it together, my panzer way is winning out.
I've constructed a plot design into Word Excel and arranged some of the scenes where they need to go and left the rest open. Then I opened a new word document and pasted Chapter One into the document. From there I focused on my first plot point and how to get there.
I'm still in the process of pulling scenes, writing transitions, and filling in holes to reach that first plot point, but I feel I'm on the right track now.
Are you a Plotter or Panzer? Share your experience of finding your way.
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