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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.
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