Category Archives: Pantsing and Planning

Please stop using the term ‘Plotting’…

…when you mean ‘Planning’ a novel or ‘Outlining’ it before you write.

It leads to crazy-arsed disagreements when I say I’m a ‘Pantser’.

They always go something like this.

“I’m a pantser.”
“So you don’t plot then?”
“Of course I plot. I just do it on the fly.”
“So you’re not a pantser then?”
“Yes, I am.”
“But you said you plot the story.”
“The important term you are overlooking is ‘on the fly’.”
“There’s no need to be snarky. Just because you want to think that you are some special sort of writer who doesn’t need to plot.”
“I do plot.”
“But you said your a pantser.”
“I am.”
“But pantsers don’t plot. Plotters plot, the clue’s in the name.”
And so on to the end of time.

Please, stop confusing the issue with a bad word choice. You’re supposed to be writers for ****s sake.

PK’s Caveats: Caveat 1: I may not know what I’m blathering about. Caveat 2: There are no rules about writing, there are just things you can get terribly wrong. Caveat 3: If people apply the words never or always to storytelling techniques, ignore them.

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The Difference between Planners and Pantsers is:

Not that pantsers are somehow organic and spontaneous while outliners are staid and rigid.

No, the difference is that Planners can leave the plan. They are able to just busk away from their outline whenever they need to.

Pantsers (and I can only really speak for myself here) can’t do that. We take the plan as The Plan and have to follow it. Therefore we don’t plan and hence we don’t have to follow it.

PK’s Caveats: Caveat 1: I may not know what I’m blathering about. Caveat 2: There are no rules about writing, there are just things you can get terribly wrong. Caveat 3: If people apply the words never or always to storytelling techniques, ignore them.

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Filed under General rants., Pantsing and Planning