Posted in On Writing

NaNo Prep: Planning or Pantsing

I am a planner. I have been my entire life. I make plans then back up plans and I’ve even been known to make back up plans for my back up plans. So I guess you could say that I over plan.

In my writing I have found that if I have my plans fully set out then the words flow faster and easier than when I’m pantsing. If I know my characters and all of their backstories, they come alive on the page. If I know my world then it becomes pictures instead of words.

When I attempt to pants through my stories and posts the words stutter worse than a stalled car engine. The characters are zombies and the settings are wastelands. I end up spending more time worrying about the story than writing it.

Other writers have the opposite problem as me. When they plan their stories they find themselves too restricted by the plans. Characters sound forced and worlds become encyclopedia entries. When these writers pants, their words catch fire and light up with passion.

However most writers find themselves somewhere in the middle of both extremes. Part planner and part pantser, they find themselves with a loose plan that can change with the story. Perhaps they have fleshed out characters but limited plot. Or they may have a world but no characters. Too much planning and they are restricted; but too much pantsing and they don’t know what to write. So they hover in that grey area of the in-between.

None of these options is inherently bad. It is all in how you put together your final work and the method in which your words flow best.

And it is the words that count.


The AP Roberts is an extremely rare creature and there is only one known AP Roberts in the world. Usually off in its own little world, the AP returns to reality when it gets lonely. This elusive creature is rather difficult to catch on film, however will pose for drawings. The AP, though wild by nature, can be tamed and makes a wonderful pet. It should also be known that while the AP gets along with most creatures it has an intense fear of insects and large canines. The AP lives on a diet of mainly vegetables and candy but is not known to refuse food that is made and offered through kindness. The drink of choice for the AP is tea though it is known to drink water and juice. There is still much to be learned of the AP however, most agree that the writings of the AP are truly something to behold. Hopefully, one day the AP will find a good Agent creature who will introduce the AP's writings to a good publisher creature and the world will be able to read the AP's works.


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