Panster vs plotter, I have no idea where these terms come from, but they describe the two methods of writing. A panster sits down and writes, (albeit with a clue of where things are going). A plotter plots out the story before starting, with pretty diagrams and summaries.
How does this whole plotting thing work? Since I’ve been a panster, I don’t actually know, so I’m just going to link to some people who do. (Stupid autocorrect keeps making it punster… I do not make puns!)
Sometimes the directionally disabled need a map.
When I started my first novel, Woven Magic [insert book plug here], I had a pretty good idea of the plot and where I wanted it to go before I started. I didn’t write a summary or anything, it just came together.
My nanowrimo novel on the other hand… is still a bunch of disjointed chapters. I’ve been reading online about plots and the key points there are supposed to be in a story. I don’t want to follow a blueprint, because I think that makes things far too predictable. My first book, sorry I won’t plug it again, actually had all the key points at around the right places, so that made me happy.
For my nano novel, I’m going to have to write out a summary, or at least have a better idea of where my characters are going. Even in a character driven novel like mine, there should be a plot. I suppose that’s the problem, I started writing without a clue as to the plot. Now I’ve gotten my characters in such a mess I don’t have a clue how to get them out of it.
This book’s world is a mishmash of science fiction and fantasy. It’s set on another planet with alien species, advanced technology, and sorcery. My sorcery is key to one of my characters, but I think it will feel like too much of an add-on if it doesn’t directly impact the plot. Okay, so how can magic get them out of this mess? I suppose I have to teach my character how to use magic first… Stop rambling Molly.
If this wasn’t the blog you were looking for and you wanted to know how to outline a plot, here are some sites I’ve found useful when I was searching on how to get myself out of my mess.
http://terribleminds.com/ramble/2011/09/14/25-ways-to-plot-plan-and-prep-your-story/ (Funny writer, but warning he likes swear words.)
http://romanceuniversity.org/2013/09/23/a-matter-of-timing-positioning-your-major-plot-points-within-your-story-by-k-m-weiland/ (Explains the key plot point percents.)
http://www.helpingwritersbecomeauthors.com/2012/02/secrets-of-story-structure-pt-1-why.html (A series of articles breaking it all down.)
The best advice I found was that the first 25%-ish of the story should be establishing the everyday world, showing the plot, and introducing the characters. At around 50%, something should go wrong, a big plot point to hit at what the climax is going to be, with another one at about 75%. (The second link goes more into this.)
In case you were wondering why this blog sounds different, I’ve been far too worried about sounding professional instead of just being myself. Since this isn’t about writing, but my writing, it’s just me, casual like. I am the sort of person who gets stage fright from writing on my blog…, which is why I try so hard. I’ll be more professional next week, promise. 😉
How do you plan before you start writing?