I always wonder why people think that there’s only one way to write.
Just today I read a tweet about how one can learn how to plot.
But then… why would I?
I mean, I do just fine pantsing (at two finished drafts and a third in progress). No one’s going to drop dead when I pants.
Why do people always think that plotting is better? The only thing that plotting does for me is give me an excuse to procrastinate while I write down what I already knew what was supposed to happen. Otherwise it discouraged me because I didn’t know every detail before I started writing.
You know what? It doesn’t matter not having all the details. That’s what the first draft is for: to find out what the heck is going on in the story.
Because there’s a big difference between what you think is happening and what happens when you write it down.
Still, I will never go as far as to say that pantsing is superior to plotting in any way. Pantsing has its own drawbacks, the main one being “painting yourself into a corner”. Then there’s also the blocks that happen because you don’t know how to start what happens next. Or the gaping plot holes. And so on and so forth.
But here’s the kicker: I enjoy fighting myself out of my self-created corner situations. I like not knowing too much about the story when I start. It gives me my sense of adventure. I enjoy the mental gymnastics involved in solving the plot holes once I get to them.
And no matter what, there’s one big reason why I don’t plot. I used to plot all of my stories. Every single one. Seven of them in total. How many did I finish? Zip. How many did I get half way? Zero. How many did I get quarter way: Two (I think) before I dumped them because they had no soul.
So I have no reason why I’d want to plot. Not even the smallest of reasons. The only thing approaching plotting that I do is making a point of knowing how the story ends.
So if you’re a plotter. Kudos to you. Especially if you’re good at it.
If you’re not. So what? As long as you get your stories done, that’s fine. And if you’re new to this writing business, don’t ever believe it when someone says it’s better to plot.
Unless you’ve pantsed for years and through many stories and failed to finish one.
What do you think? Is there really a better way to write a novel?
Are you a plotter or a pantser? What about your preferred style makes it suit you?