A plotter is an author who outlines his or her novel before he or she begins writing. These authors tend to know who their characters are and where the book is going before writing the first chapter. A pantser is an author who discovers the story as he or she writes it. These authors tend to appreciate hearing the story alongside their readers. Most authors, though, are a little of both. Elle E. Ire, author and educator, explains how an author can blend plotting with pantsing. She uses the terms “plantsing” or “bitextual” to describe this approach. Ire blends plotting and pantsing by plotting three chapters out at a time. While plotting in great detail works really well for her writer husband, she feels as if she loses the energy and emotion behind a story when she plots the entire story. She dreams in entire plots and this gives her the initial framework for a story. Whether to be a plotter, panster, or planster is a personal journey for an author as he or she discovers the best ways to create a book. There are pros and cons no matter your approach. For example, Ire sometimes struggles with deadlines because she is lacking creative inspiration. Her husband, on the other hand, devotes extensive amounts of time to plotting his stories beforehand, making deadlines less stressful.
So now I can say what my style is. I thought maybe I was just undisciplined and couldn't keep a plot line. Thank you.
Thank you for this wonderful advice! I'm working on a fiction novel and I thought I was to plot the entire novel first. Plotting a few chapters at a time seems a lot better for me and will keep my attention span flowing as I go through the entire book a few chapters at a time until the end of the manuscript.
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