Are you a Plotter or Pantser??

Some of you may be asking “a what”? There are two types of writers, those that love to plot and those that just sit down and write by the seat of their pants. Plotters love to plan and outline, from plotting the overall book, to plotting each chapter to each scene. Then there are pantsers, they sit down and start writing, letting the story take them where it takes them, developing the plot as they go along.

Personally, I’m a plotter. This comes as no surprise since I’m the type of person who loves to make lists. I like to feel in control and that I know what I’m doing or what I need to do. I LOVE to plot. I love to plot out the whole book and each scene. Now that’s not to say that the story might not take on a life of it’s own and I may need to change some things, but it helps me to ensure that the vital elements of the story are there.

One of the things I learned early on about the craft of creating that great book is that there is actually a formula. Now there are many ways to develop this formula, many theories and many methods. I learned about “The Hero’s Journey” early on and have used this method for many years to develop my stories. Christopher Vogler’s, The Hero’s Journey or Writer’s Journey, takes you through the various parts that make up a great story, the elements that are necessary to draw the reader in and leave them satisfied. This method has been a tremendous help to me.

As I was working on book 2 of The Wayward Wives Club, I was struggling with my plot. Then it dawned on me, I had forgotten the basics. Back to my Hero’s Journey I went, and thanks to some brainstorming with my critique partners,  problem solved. It also helps me to stay on track with the story or writer’s block when I’m not sure where to go next. It serves as my road map.

Another huge part of my writing involves Goal, Motivation and Conflict. Debra Dixon wrote a fantastic Book, “Goal, Motivation & Conflict” that discuss the internal and external GMC’s for your characters. These are other vital parts to your stories. Knowing these issues for my characters helps plotting my hero & heroine’s journeys easier.

So what kind of writer are you?

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