Are you a plotter or a panster?

Every self-publishing journey starts with writing a book. But how do you write your book?

There is a theory in writing that the two extremes of writing a book are:

  1. Plotter – every detail is planned in minute detail. The plot is set, the character development is analysed and planned, sub plots are all designed in advance, chapter by chapter is mapped out and all that remains is to write the book.
  2. Pantser – this is someone who sits and writes, letting the story flow through them onto their computer or notepad.

These are the 2 extremes, it’s likely that you, like I sit somewhere inbetween. When I wrote my first book, I was much closer to being a Pantser. Now I find myself much closer to being a Plotter.

As with many things writing related, it comes down to personal preference and what works best for you as to which of these 2 categories you fall into. Let’s have a quick look at the advantages of each:

Advantages of Plotting

  • You can identify plot holes.
  • You know where your book ends. Your main character has a resolution.
  • You should be able to avoid the dreaded ‘writers block’ as you know what’s going to happen

Advantages of Pantsing

  • It’s a freestyle, no constraints to the plot.
  • You have complete flexibility. With no defined journey, you can’t write yourself into a dead end.
  • You’ll probably get your first draft completed quicker

I wrote my first Puzzle Train book using the “Panster” method. I just sat down and wrote. My style changed a lot over the coming years.

When I came to the final book of my Puzzle Train series, I had to become a serious plotter to make sure I covered all the loose ends I wanted to cover.

If you would like help with your self-publishing journey, or writing your book, contact me here.