Writer: Are You A Plotter or Pantser? Take This Quiz Now!
There is no right or wrong way to write a novel. But there are two main writing strategies authors often use when writing a book — and they both have funny names. Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”? Not sure? Here is the definition of each, along with a quick quiz you can take now to help you decide which writing style works best for you.
Are You A Plotter?
Plotters outline their stories before writing them. They know all the details — characters, plot, subplots, climax, and resolution — before they write a single word. This prewriting strategy means more work up front, but less chance of developing writer’s block during the process, because plotters know exactly where they’re going. They have a handy map to lead them to their destination and keep them on course. Plotters tend to write more efficiently and finish novels more quickly than pantsers.
But before you decide that this is the way to go, hold on: There are some cons to being a plotter. For instance, if a plotter wants to change the outline, this generally involves changes to other chapters. Reconfiguring an outline is often more daunting than creating one from scratch, as each chapter may be affected by a change that happens in one. Also, because less creativity is involved in the writing process, it can start to feel more like a chore and become mundane. Let’s face it, planning every detail of anything — whether it’s a vacation or a novel — doesn’t leave much room for misadventure or happy accidents.
John Grisham and J.K. Rowling are plotters. Grisham feels that the more time he spends on an outline, the easier the book is to write. Rowling confesses that she uses a basic plot outline but fills in along the way, which sounds a lot like a “plantser,” the hybrid love child of a plotter and a pantser. It should come as no surprise that her outlines are handwritten, since it’s rumored that she has used napkins, an airplane sick bag, and once even a dress to write the Harry Potter series.
Other plotters include R.L. Stine, Dan Brown, and the fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.
Are You A Pantser?
Pantsers are considered the free-spirited artists of the writing world because they tend to fly by the…