Now, until I’d joined Instagram and befriended other writers, I had never come across these two terms, let alone contemplated which I might be. However, since joining Instagram, I’ve quickly realised I am neither. It turns out I am a Plantser or Plotser, or whatever a hybrid of the two is.
This revelation shocked me quite profoundly as I am OCD. It doesn’t rule my life but it’s there. I like things clean and tidy but I’m not obsessive. My ‘thing’ is checking things: locks, windows, items, is my alarm set? Did I lock the car? Is the window that’s been locked all winter, still locked? Double check, triple check, quadruple check. It’s not (totally) a bad thing because I know for certain if something’s amiss, but it does waste time and I know it’s not healthy. But, I digress.
So, despite being OCD I’m not with regards to my writing. Contradictory, right? I mean, I plot. I have a basic timeline, chapter outline, back stories for my characters, I research names, terms, phenomena, anything and everything that’s relevant. But I don’t have the full outline written down. I know the key points, I know some of what happens in between but not everything; and writing like that suited me fine for Book 1.
However, for Book 2 I’m trying to plot more, not necessarily the entire story, but more. So far, I have worked on my Beats, but I could only plot so many; I have plotted and planned my key characters in more depth, using Sarra Cannon’s freebie “Plot your Novel”; and I am 5,000+ words into typing up my Series Bible (using the free outline courtesy of Bethany Atazadeh). And I’ve still got my plot embryos to draft!
I really recommend the freebies, they’ve given me direction and have made me contemplate things about my characters and world that I would never have done. Which can only be a good thing, right? Nonetheless, it’s been difficult. Not the plotting or Series Bible, they’ve been fun; but the Story Beats (a section within Bethany’s freebie). Bizarrely, pinning them down was really tricky; my brain reached a point where it couldn’t take anymore and suffered a meltdown: “I don’t know! Let’s just write and see!”
I’m certainly not a Plotter! I am determined though to do a month’s more plotting before I start writing. I have a feeling it’ll save me time later, and time is my most precious commodity.
Does this resonate with you? Are you in Team Plotser/Plantser? Or a clearcut Plotter or Pantser? Any tips you’d be happy to share? I’d love to know!