Am I a plotter or panster?

stephen king

King of Pansters

I was asked recently if I was a plotter or panster… the two types of writers in the world. Plotters outline characters, plots, timelines, and have an organized approach. Pansters fly by the seat of their pants, jumping in and writing in a very organic way. Stephen King is a notorious panster and you can’t say it doesn’t work for him.

As for me, I can’t say which applies more. I would say I’m a plotter to a certain extent because I do like to outline characters and a bit of plot, but I’d be lying if I said I’m a 100% (or even 90%) plotter. Truth is I start as a plotter then find myself detouring off the path originally laid, following a new lead that suddenly seems like the best way to go.

Sometimes these end up nowhere, but more often I am pleased with where the story has landed. And what fun! I never imagined being a professional writer but it came naturally from my love of reading.

This is why I probably can’t say I take a fully plotted course but a complete panster? No way, that sounds like starting a trip up a trail in the dark at night. Exciting perhaps but more pitfalls than ground covered.

author sara orwigharlequin desirepantserplotterromance writingsara orwig

Sara Orwig • August 9, 2013

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