Plot vs Pants (no, not that kind)


I’ll admit right now, I’ve always been more of a “pantser.” In this case, the term means that, when writing my novels, I prefer to, not to use a cliche, “fly by the seat of my pants.” I let the words flow organically. I don’t really have a set word count or plot point in mind when I sit down; instead I choose to focus on whatever scene speaks to me. Sometime that includes an entire chapter of nothing but dialogue. The body language and dialogue tags may come in the next day, or the next week. It’s a free style kind of activity where the plot unfolds before you understand what you’ve done.

Lately, in order to interject more emotion into my writing, I’ve been experimenting with the plotting method. In my internet travels, I’ve come across the above graph detailing the outline of a plot for the second half of a novel. The second act timeline.

I’d like to hear thoughts. How many pantsers vs. plotters do we have in our midst? For the plotters, do you find timelines to be helpful or a hindrance?

All comments are welcome and appreciated!




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