So here’s a quick rundown. A plotter knows exactly what is going to happen in their story. They likely have character and plot outlines, and they know what they want the ending to be. A pantser doesn’t plan their novel. They literally write by the seat of their pants!
Above is a chart to help you determine if you’re a pantser, plotter, or plantser. Now, I used to believe I was a true plotter. I have detailed plot and character outlines, and I absolutely hate to stray from them. But I can identify with a variety of different styles:
- Lawful Pantser: I write everything in order and I know random details about the world and characters no one else cares about.
- Lawful Plantser: I take personality tests for every one of my characters!
- True Plantser: I do write an outline, but I also tend to go off script.
- Lawful Plotter: I love my multi-page character bios and plot outlines!
- Chaotic Plotter: While I have never actually succeeded on getting my scenes written on little cards, I have always wanted to.
Based on this, I’m probably a True Plantser, which means I am as neutral as it gets in this argument. But I think a health balance of plotter and plantser is best, as it can help avoid stress from either side.
What writing style best describes you? Let me know in the comments!