By June Shaw
If you write books, short stories, or plays, do you prefer to plot them or write them by the seat of your pants?
There is no right or wrong answer.
Authors do both, often depending on their preference or the stage of writing in which they find themselves. The genre in which they write sometimes makes a difference, too.
In a recent lively discussion between many published and unpublished writers and a popular literary agent, I heard unpublished writers mainly say they wrote without having a plan of where they were going. Most of the published writers, however, said they were pantsers when they first started writing, but then discovered writing a basic plot first helped most.
Our agent in attendance said romance writers were often pantsers but that mystery authors, whom she mainly represents, create a plot first.
One of my major deficiencies is organizing -- almost anything. I wish I didn't have that problem. But one friend I taught with does the opposite -- even her pantry is alphabetized. I'd like to keep parts of me and parts of her and fit about halfway between us with my home. And my writing.
I am plotting more with my novels now than I did when I first started with novels. It's a little easier for me as time passes.
What do you prefer? Sitting at the computer and dashing out words without knowing where you're going? Or having a plan ahead of time and fitting your creative words in their proper places?