Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Pantster Vs Plotter

My husband frequently asks me (usually when we’re in the van going or returning from somewhere), “What’re you thinking about?” My answer is always the same, “About my characters in the novel I’m working on,” or “I’m developing more conflicts in my novel.”

I am an SOTP, not a Plotter. For those who write, you know what I’m talking about. SOTP stands for Seat-of-the-Pants, or shortened to Pantster. I never plot or outline. I start with an idea and it just blossoms and unfolds as I write. Writing like that drives Plotters wacky, but for a Pantster, plotting takes the fun out of it.

I am ALWAYS amazed at how my writing takes twists and turns that I had no idea about in the beginning. For me, as a Pantster, it’s like opening the most delightful, intriguing presents at Christmas. What fun!

Alas, even as a Pantster I have to force myself to keep track of certain things. I keep a spreadsheet with names, dates, locations, etc. If not, I can get totally skewed. Nothing is worse than calling the local pharmacist Charlie, a very minor character, in the beginning and then calling him Bob later on because I didn’t note the name assuming I wasn’t going to use him again.

Last night I was writing on my WIP (work in progress) The Roof of the King and I needed to put the name of Josiah’s – my main male character – secretary. I had used her in the beginning, and typical Pantster, was confident I wouldn’t use her again. BUT…there I was, needing her name and couldn’t remember it. I had to go back and search for it. Voila, her name is Jan. A Plotter would never have that problem.

By the way, The Roof of the King is not about a king other than the fact that Josiah, great man of God, falls to moral temptation like King David did with Bathsheba.

Whether you’re a Plotter or a Pantster, write as God inspires and directs you. God’s not as concerned about the method as He is the message. Having said that, I encourage you to pray over your writing and then pray some more.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, I'm definitely going to have to read this one!!!!