Are You a Plotter or a Pantser by Kristi Bradley

The difference in a plotter and a pantser is a plotter plans out their novel with an outline before they begin writing and know where the plot is going all the way to the end. The pantser doesn’t outline, literally flies by the seat of their pants and has more flexibility to turn in any direction, allowing the story to take them wherever it leads.

A plotter may have to update their outline numerous times during the writing process. An outline is just that, an outline, not the plot written in stone. The plot is subject to change. As we write, scenes often take turns we didn’t expect; necessitating the need to update the outline on a regular basis, or even throw the whole thing out and start over.

A pantser doesn’t have to worry about updating an outline but can just as easily write themselves into a corner because they didn’t plan ahead.

Neither type is right or wrong. Your process is yours alone. The same thing doesn’t work for every writer. I’m a pantser, but something I do is a reverse outline. I usually know where I want the story to lead before I begin, and let the words take me where they will. I do track plot points in each chapter as I go so I can quick reference later.

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