WOW! What a week of amazing posts. I tell you, this is one amazing group of ladies I’m lucky to be a part of.
Welcome back to Sensual Sunday. This week we’re taking on a more serious subject: Panster, plotter, or hybrid? I’m talking about types of writers so minds should be scooped from the gutter right now. You know who I’m talking about, yeah — you!
The below are Moira’s definitions and not necessarily the view of others. Drink your coffee, tea, etc and read on…
Panster: (Type B personality) This refers to writing by the seat of your pants, on the fly, letting your muse and characters lead you around to the tune of whatever piper they are listening to. You might start out with a rough plan but you’re not the sort to worry if it changes as you go. You roll with it and can see something even better forming upon the horizon. Planning too much often will stunt your feel for the story singing inside you. It might even cataclysmically destroy the muse or plug you up, mentally speaking naturally. You prefer to let the ideas come how they may and make it work as you write. Life’s too short to plan out every minute.
Plotter: (Type A personality) This refers to someone who sits down and plans how a book and/or series will unfold in point by point details. You know your characters from top to bottom and everything in between including details that may never make it to your actual story. The fact male character #1 likes to splash through puddles in his bare feet might not work in your story, but it’s a detail you need recorded to remind yourself that while he may be intrinsically serious he also has a softer, fun side too that leaks through occasionally. You have dates, places, location sites (down to the crown molding or the fabric on the chairs) and might even have maps tacked on your walls for reference for whatever city, town, etc your characters reside in. If you’re truly detail oriented you might even have street shots of particular buildings you are utilizing in your story – hotels, restaurants and the like. For you life’s too short to leave anything to chance.
While this might seem like the extreme from one end to the other, and it well may be, it gives you the range. There’s a lot in between those two points and it basically boils down to this:
Pansters are the sort who need a freedom to go with whatever catches their minds eye and inspires them while Plotters have to have structure (maybe not quite to the degree I have above) to give them a sense of control or perhaps it’s more about a schedule. Not really sure. I think it depends on who you are and your own style.
Now then we also need to explore one other writing style, and that would be that of the:
Hybrid: This refers to a writer who has found a balance between Panster and Plotter. They have combined the two “extremes” into a method that works specifically for them. Whatever this may include it has worked for you. It is also a fluid approach that may change as you further your career. It may even alter depending on what you’re writing.
I happen to be a Hybrid and proud of it. But I did start out as a Panster, nothing to be ashamed of there. We each evolve in our journey as we learn our craft and ourselves better until we find what works for us. For me, being a Hybrid works. I do have to Plot to a certain degree – especially when it involves a series, but I also don’t restrict my own version of creativity. It’s about a happy balance. Not saying I have all the answers (I WISH!) but I’ve found what works for me. At least at this point in my life. Not that this is the only definition for a Hybrid author. It has several meanings and can be used in many ways in regards to authors, from writing style to how they publish to who knows what.
There you go. Now since I had to go and be all serious there, I think it’s time for a little something to get you back in the relaxed mood.
Now go and enjoy your Sunday! ~ XO Moira Callahan