When you write a book, do you fly by the seat of your pants or plot it out play by play ?
I’ve experienced both now.
With my first book, I pants it all the way. This means creating the story along the way with only an idea of where the book should go. Honestly, I wrote the end first, then the beginning. After that I filled in the middle one chapter at a time. Occasionally, it was difficult because I’d finish a chapter and have to ponder what I should do next to have the plot progress to the ending I’d already written.
With my WIP, I decided I’d try my hand at being a plotter. Of course, I didn’t do a major huge outline the length of 20 pages. All I did was write a brief sentence or two about what I wanted to have happen in each chapter to get it to the ending I’d imagined. So far, it’s turned out to be successful. I like how quickly writing is going due to this method.
However, with my first book, I sort of didn’t know what I was doing at the beginning stage. It took learning more about the writing industry and a lot of great advice from critique partners and writing friends to help me get my book, Félicité Found, to where it is now—a query-able book.
This time around, I know the foundation of how to write a story well from chapter one. I feel like plotting it out has been a useful and beneficial technique.
Yet, maybe Félicité Found took longer to write because of not knowing where to go once I finished a chapter, but the creativity flowed just as easily. Only a couple times did I suffer from writer’s block.
I like both methods, but am partial to plotting now. Who knows what system I’ll use with my next project or those that follow, but they’re both ways in which a story can come to life.
So, as I asked before, are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you have a preference? And, why?