Hey guys! This post is inspired by a massive change I made recently to the novel I’m currently working on. I was sat there, 3/4 of the way through my plan and I decided I hated my protagonist and I wanted to change them. I realised how much of a pickle I’d be in if I hadn’t been planning my novel extensively. I’d be halfway through my first draft and have to completely rework the entire plot. It got me thinking about the different ways in which writers plan their novels and I’ve come up with the strengths and weaknesses of the two main methods.
Planning is pretty self explanatory – it’s when a writer creates an outline in which they can work from when writing their novel.
- You can fix plot holes as you notice them.
- Characters are more fleshed out.
- You’re less likely to hit the blank page syndrome.
- It gives you a clear direction.
- You run the risk of losing interest in the story.
- It takes agessssss.
- You might feel like you can’t deviate from the outline.
- It can curb your creativity.
Pantsing refers to writing the book ‘by the seat of your pants’. When someone goes into writing a novel without an outline to guide them, it is known as pantsing.
- You won’t get bogged down by all the details and can get right on with the story.
- You’re less likely to get bored.
- You have the freedom to write whatever comes to mind.
- You find out what’s happening at the same time as the characters do.
- There may be more plot holes to fix after you’ve finished your first draft.
- Characters might not end up as fleshed out as they need to be.
- There’s more work when it comes to the second draft.
- You may get hit with writers block.
I’m definitely in the planning group. I wish I could be a pantser but I need a plan to guide me when it comes to writing my first draft.
Saying this – always remember to do what works best for you. Every writer is different and what works for someone else might not work for you. I hope you enjoyed this post and found it helpful if you’re thinking about or are currently writing a novel.
Are you a planner or a pantser? Let me know in the comments, I’m interested to know