Since I had started writing my debut novel, and interacting within the writing communities of Facebook and Twitter, there was a term that showed up constantly, Pantser. The term Pantser showed up in conversations, newsfeeds, blog posts, and I really could continue. So, I looked up the term, and the term indicates that someone doesn’t create an outline for the writing.
I wanted to blog about my experiences of the pros and cons of both because I see a lot of shade being thrown on both sides. As an author who doesn’t use these terms, there are some people who don’t know about them, and they may or may not be receiving negativity because they may not outline their novel, or they get flack because they take the time to outline.
******DISCLAIMER BEFORE YOU READ THIS BLOG POST. THIS BLOG IS NOT ATTACKING OR MAKING JUDGEMENT ON ANYONE WHO FALLS INTO EITHER OR BOTH CATEGORIES. THESE ARE MY OBSERVATIONS.*******
-Without having an outline, you allow the story to fully develop as you write. If you don’t like a certain part of the story, you may change it. If you want to add another character or a scene to further development backstory, you may add as much as you want without worrying about redoing your outline.
-If you hit a case of the “writer’s block” syndrome, it may be a littler more difficult for you to get over the hump. Unless you push passed the writer’s block, the chances of you not finishing the project may happen. Also, the story may goes in many directions without any guidance. So, just be aware of your story’s direction.
-You have planned out your entire novel. You know where the story is going to go. You know exactly the number of characters, arcs and the ending. Also, someone who outlined their story may write their story faster (doesn’t mean better).
-This is a HUGE reason why I am not an “outliner”. The writer is bound to their outline. If you want to change something, you may have to change the entire outline, which takes away from your writing.
So, the question of this blog is: Does it matter? Does it matter that you are a plotter or a pantser? In my opinion, it doesn’t matter. I truly believe that as writers, we need stop worrying about whether we are plotting the “right” way, or are we going to be accepted by our peers if they find out that we don’t plot. The ONLY thing that we need to worry about as writers is our stories. Our stories are what we make us authors.
When someone reads your novel, do you think that the reader is going to wonder, “wow…how long was this author’s outline?” Nope. Trust me. If you concentrate on your stories then I can bet that you will be a happier writer, and your story will flow out of you.
Well, I hope this blog was informative and helpful. Please, like, share and comment on the blog. I would love to hear your thoughts. We can start a constructive, positive conversation.
Jacob J. Rundle
P.S. Have you read the first two chapters of my debut novel? No? You need to! Go…go do it…like…now! :)