From Pantser To Plotter

Published on 1 February 2022 at 23:30

People who know me know that I am a planner. A die hard, no-nonsense, make-use-of-every-hour-of-every-day kind of planner. I plan work- and social-related things every day, keep track of countless lists in color coded maps on my phone, in my laptop, in my notebooks. I have to regulate my emotions every time the things don't go as planned... Long story short: I love structure. I could name dozens of reasons why. I'm a Virgo, I'm the oldest child, I have the memory of Patrick Star and I can't for the life of me remember the thousands of things I still want to do if I don't write them down. But the truth is, it wasn't always like this for me...

I was the most chaotic person I knew when I was younger. Seriously. I came unprepared to basically everything and winged the most important tasks on my to-do lists. The same went for my stories. I was a total pantser for Desperandum and Virago (meaning that I did what I always did: I winged it). I had ZERO idea of where my stories went when I started writing. And I mean, I'm very happy with what I wrote and I love that my stories are the rawest and purest version of what they could have been. And also, I had fun writing it! I believed that, even though I was a planner in my core, writer-me was different. I was wrong.

I started writing my third book, my first novel, about a year ago. Maybe even a little longer. I had a basic idea, but I had no clue where the book would be going. And that's why now, a year later, I'm completely redoing my outline. Yes, this is where being a pantser bit me in the butt. And I don't even know WHY I thought it was a good idea to not plan a thing about my book. I mean, I planned every other single detail in my life. Why didn't I plan THIS? I got stuck in my outline, I kept getting additional ideas and the 30K words I had were utter chaos. I had less and less fun writing the story, I didn't feel comfortable at all.

And that's where I started plotting. I got rid of everything I had and started thinking about where the main story line was going. Then the secondary story lines and... before I knew it, I was color coding, filling in charts and making mind maps. I was back in my element! Just like that, I was plotting every little bit of my new book baby! I have now almost finished my new outline and I am SO happy that I became a plotter. Now, I know exactly what I'm going to write about, and when and how every plot point, love scene and tearjerker will happen.

I am convinced that me planning my novel has already made it better than I could ever hope it would be. And I just know that this story is going to resonate with so many women, even more so now that I plotted everything and have thought everything through in a way that I never would be able to do it if I pantsed my way through it.

Ah, the joys of structure. I don't just want to persuade you like this, try it for yourself! Do you need help with plotting? Get in touch with me! I'm more than happy to share all my tips and tricks with you!

- Pia Sophia

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