I don’t know where or why this all started, but it occurs in a lot of arguments I know of. There’s a side A and a side B, but no side C. Yes, sometimes I suppose it’s possible that there’s not an option C, but it seems all too often the C is disregarded.
One of the most black and white debates I hear is ‘plotter’ versus ‘panster’. Simply put by most any writer, a plotter is one who outlines and always outlines in excruciating detail; they can’t write without it. A pantser is the exact opposite, they simply write what comes to mind and run with it, and outlines scare them to death.
See? Black and white. But everyone forgets that gray is a color too.
Me, I call myself neither ‘panster’ nor ‘plotter’. I have rough scribblings of what I want to happen in my story and how the characters will be, but I cannot for the life of me make a I, 1, a, 1 outline, or anything similar. It just never works. So I’m not a plotter.
Yet, on the other hand, I can’t just sit down and throw something down on a blank piece of paper with no idea of a starting point. So I am definitely not a panster!
What, then, do I classify myself as? Well, I don’t really care much for restricting terms, so I’ll simply say this: I’m a writer. I have my own way of doing things that works better than either black or white. I much prefer the color gray, where most often, the best of both worlds meet like the intersecting portion of a Venn diagram. It may be small, but that is where I am.
How about you? Are you a devout plotter or pantser, or somewhere in between? What’s your planning/writing style look like?