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 Plotter or Pantser?

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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Plotter or Pantser?   Sun Oct 26, 2014 2:17 am

Are you a plotter or pantser? Pantser - writing by the seat of your pants.
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Victoria Howard, Mod
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Sun Oct 26, 2014 6:14 am

I'm a little of both. I prefer to write a 3-10 page outline and work from that rather than plotting chapter by chapter, which I find very restrictive. It's a case of finding which technique works best for you and sticking to that. I understand that Diana Gabaldon who writes the Outlander series is very much a punster, writing in a non-linear way and then stitching the story together when she has finished!
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PostSubject: The Craft of Writing   Sun Oct 26, 2014 8:47 pm

I guess I'm definitely a plotter. I can't make anything work unless I know how it all ends. I do a basic one page outline, separating my three acts, then expand that to a three to five page outline. From there I set up my basic chapters. I write a one page chapter summary for each and, if it all reads well, I expand those one page summaries into a manuscript. Works well for me, and it allows me to easily insert a subplot here and there along the way.
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Mon Oct 27, 2014 12:28 am

With Fiction, I'm definitely a Panser. I never know how things will turn out and let the characters show me.
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D. J. (Don) Stephens

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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Mon Oct 27, 2014 3:57 pm

I guess I've become a plotter. My first two I had an overall idea and just started writing not knowing where it was going next. After that I started writing an outline to develop the story, when I'm satisfied with the outline, I start writing. If the story takes a turn while I'm writing I will redo the outline.

I won't try an convince anyone it's the right way...it works for me.
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Victoria Howard, Mod
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Sun Nov 02, 2014 5:52 pm

Interesting. So far we have three plotters, one panster and me, who is a little of both! Any other members care to add their comments?
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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Fri Nov 07, 2014 4:05 pm

I'm definitely a plotter. In my early days, an agent told me to either learn structure/plotting or I wouldn't be published. I learned.

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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Sat Nov 08, 2014 2:27 am

I've read countless books on plotting, including your excellent book, Brenda, but it stifles my creativity. I find mind-mapping helpful when thinking about the initial plot - one word in the centre of a sheet of A4 and then lines leading to various options. When I think I have the basis of a plot I bounce ideas off a fellow writer before writing my outline.

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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Sun Nov 09, 2014 12:45 am

After I learned to plot, I followed it exactly and still have excellent reviews on that particular book. However, over time I discovered that as long as I know the plot points and key scenes, I do not have to plot an exact scene by scene method. Because I know it so well that it's all second nature? Possibly. Probably.

I can't say whatever works for a writer is ok, because I was told by pros in the industry I needed to learn this or that - usually this AND that. And that made it possible for me to be published by some great publishers. I've also been published by some stinkers, but that's why I'm Gen Mgr and believe in L. Cooper Press - and I'm sure that's why you're with them as well.

Nothing like having control of our own books.



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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Sun Nov 09, 2014 5:22 pm

Ok, I was asked if I thought my way was the only way. It all depends on what you want as a writer.

Yes, I believe it's the only way if you want to be considered a professional by the traditional industry agents & publishers. However, if you want to self-publish or publish with one of a hundred online publishers, the standards are relaxed. Readers today are savvy, and they expect certain things to happen in a novel as they do in a movie. We, as novelists who expect readers to buy our stories, must provide them.

I've been published by most of them - yet I choose L. Cooper Press now. Why? I know I'll get paid each month. No matter how many writers say they write because it fulfills them, to me it's a profession, a profession I spent years and a lot of money learning. And like in any other profession, I want to be paid for my work. Too many great standard publishers and many of the online publishers promise everything and neglect to pay for one reason or another.

With LCP, I keep all of my rights and total control of everything - the cover, when to publish, marketing. And I can check my sales each day. But best of all, I do not have to give a large percentage to the publisher. I keep it all of my royalties.

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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 1:43 am

As an avid reader and fan of Don Stephen’s books, I would venture to say that he is a Plotter.
He obviously does much research when writing. His characters go to a variety of countries and he is able to capture the nuances of that country. I don’t think he visited all the countries where he sends his characters, yet his descriptions are credible.
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Brenda Hill, Admin
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PostSubject: Re: Plotter or Pantser?   Mon Nov 10, 2014 2:20 am

He must be doing something right, Abe, to have such a loyal supporter. Kudos to you both.

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