Welcome to Week 3 of Let’s Talk! This week we’re looking into planning.
There are endless ways to plan your stories. We’ll talk a little about techniques tomorrow. But let’s discuss the types of approaches we can take when beginning a story.
Are you a Pantser or a Planner?
As the name states, Planners (or sometimes known as Plotters) outline their story before they write it. They have a clear idea of what’s going to happen. They know the key points of their stories. How their characters will react to these points. Some going as far as to outlining chapter-by-chapter. And because you know what’s going to happen, writer’s block is something you should be able to break through quickly.
Planning is hard, so it’s always nice to have a little cheatsheet on the side — just in case!
Pantsers are writers ‘who write stories by the seat of their pants’ — whatever that means. These writers are free to take their story in 1000 different directions without the confines of a plan. Stories roll off of them, they learn about their characters as they go, and the details (sometimes the plot) come in later drafts.
Before looking into this topic, I thought only two types of writers existed. There’s a combination between these two.
They are writers with a vague plan. But give leave enough wriggle room to explore and discover. There’s enough of an idea to keep you going without having to grasp at straws for your next scene. Maybe you have Big Moments planned out, but have no idea who your main character is yet. That’s the beauty of plantsing (and pantsing). Exploration.
There is no ‘right way’ to approach a story. All bring forward pros and cons, it’s just about finding the right one for you. Have a shot with each technique and see which one works in tandem with you, your writing style and even your organisational skills.
Come tell us in the Discord what type of writer you are. What are the struggles and of your approach? Is there another type that you identify with?