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Pantsing, Plotting, and Everything in Between: Finding Your Writing Style

Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you fall somewhere in between? As writers, we often hear about these two camps: those who fly by the seat of their pants (pantsers) and those who carefully plan everything out (plotters). But what if you don't fit neatly into either category?

As a self-proclaimed plotter, I can relate to the struggle of spending more time planning than actually writing. With my ADHD brain, it's easy to get lost in the details and lose sight of the big picture. But I also know that having a solid plan helps me stay on track and avoid writer's block.

So, what's the best approach? Let's take a closer look at the pros and cons of pantsing, plotting, and everything in between.

Pantsing: Flying by the Seat of Your Pants

For pantsers, the thrill of discovery is what drives them to write. They don't plan their stories in advance, instead preferring to let their characters and instincts guide them. This can lead to exciting twists and turns, unexpected character arcs, and a sense of spontaneity that can be hard to replicate with plotting.

However, pantsing can also lead to a lack of direction and cohesion. Without a plan in place, it's easy to write yourself into a corner or lose sight of your story's central themes. Pantsers may also struggle with writer's block, as they don't have a roadmap to follow when they hit a snag.

Plotting: Planning Ahead for Success

On the other end of the spectrum, plotters like myself prefer to have a roadmap in place before starting to write. This can include detailed outlines, character sketches, and even storyboards. By having a plan in place, plotters can avoid writer's block and ensure that their story stays on track.

However, plotting can also be time-consuming and overwhelming. It's easy to get bogged down in the details. And for my fellow hyper fixated neurodivergents, by the time we actually sit down to write the damn book, we've already become specialists in biology, vegan cooking and the therapeutic effects of small-batch organic lavender.

Everything in Between: Finding Your Sweet Spot

So, where does that leave writers who fall somewhere in between pantsing and plotting? It's important to remember that there's no one "right" way to write. Some writers might benefit from a loose outline or a few key plot points, while others might prefer a more detailed plan. It's all about finding what works best for you and your writing process.

For me, that means recognizing my tendency to over-plan and incorporating pantsing elements into my process. Sometimes, the best ideas come from letting go and seeing where the story takes me. And who knows? Maybe I'll discover a new approach that works even better for me.

In the end, the most important thing is to keep writing. Whether you're a pantser, a plotter, or somewhere in between, the act of putting words on paper is what matters most. So, find your sweet spot and keep on writing!

So, what do you think? Are you a pantser, a plotter, or somewhere in between? Let me know in the comments below!

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