Plotter vs Panster

When it comes to writing, some people like to think about the entire story, before actually writing at all. Then there are others who just sit at the blank page and write on the fly, let the story tell itself.

I am a Panster. I did not know this when I began writing. I actually thought there must be something wrong with me, that I was missing out on some secret training. As I decided to make writing my life’s work, I began to research the structures of plotting. All I learned was that I am not a plotter — not at all!

After reading and trying different idea’s, I still can not see my story past the next sentence. I only see that as I am typing it. There may be occasions where I’ll envision a scene that will transpire later on in the story, and I’ll write it down. Usually, I don’t even know who the characters are until the show up in the tale. As they appear, I see what they look like, their age and even a bit of their history. Then I write them in my journal for reference.

Below are just a few structure variations I have found.

The Snowflake method Randy Ingermanson, Ph.D.

The Ten Steps of Design

How to Structure A Story: The Eight-Point Arc

Stasis, Trigger, The quest, Surprise, Critical choice, Climax, Reversal, Resolution

I even found This:

Write your novel in 30 days free worksheets. (This most likely resembles a paper version of Scrivener)

How do you write? Do you Plot or Fly by the seat of your Pants?

Have a look at my thought process below and share your comments. Happy writing, Theresa

This is how my ideas formulate. Below is the outline of an idea I came up with, I wrote this and am now working on a novel on the basis of this. So, I had this one main character in my mind, and that was it. As I write the characters are gathering and growing. I am letting them led me to where they need to go. I do have an ending in mind, the rest is up to them.

Space alien story. (Kepler — working title)

The earth was coming to an end; we shuttled to Kepler to colonize only it didn’t turn out that way. The Aliens were already there, we are now their property. They understand us, we do not understand them. Oh, I like to think with millions of us, there must be some people smart enough to figure out their language. And I hope beyond all hope that those people are working on an escape plan for us, or we are doomed, this is no life for us, we were never meant to live underground, in glass cages like animals in a zoo.

We call them slugs, they move about tunnels that surround our glass dome. They watch us and study us; they take us away, some never to return. They must have gathered all the information from our ships archives and libraries to recreate a semblance of our earth homes, but it’s nowhere near reality for us. We have no TV or music, only books, and artworks. We each have small sleeping pods that are also glass, we no longer eat like we used too, and I think that is the hardest for a lot of us. As you know, the people of earth were binge eaters, or overweight eaters, or bored snackers. Not here, we get supplement drops, one a day, I can’t profess to imagine how they work, but they do. They give us all the life sustenance needed. I guess the positive is that there are no more overweight people, we are all pretty thin now, and we no longer need to defecate, just urinate.

We also cannot kill ourselves, at first a lot of people did. So, they took away every possible way to do so. The only way to die is to get another person to kill you, and if you try, they interfere immediately. Never mind the fact that they watch us 24/7, as everywhere we go is glass.

We have a very basic uniform of a tan fabric; almost sack like every one of them exactly the same. Men, women, child, it doesn’t matter; you wear this sack dress, no underwear. The temperature in the dome is somehow set to be constant too, it’s never too hot or too cold, and it is always light. There is no change in day or night. We sleep in the light, and we wake in the light.

Most people, like me, are depressed. We have no lives here, no jobs, and no recreation. At first, people tried to escape, people rioted and fought and yelled and cried, only to discover that if we did so, we got gassed. The gas made us dopey and quiet and complacent. Perhaps they are continuously gassing us now, and we just don’t know it.

Theresa Jacobs Story Idea Kepler © 2016

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