The Digital Quill Answers: “Are you a planner by nature?”

Are you a planner by nature? – Do you plot each step of a project or do you let your experience guide the way?

Yes! In the great discussion or plotter versus pantser, I am very much a plotter.

It comes from how much nonfiction I have done in the past years. I can’t work without a solid and detailed structure, which often includes a wordcount breakdown before I start these.

When it comes to fiction, I am 70% a plotter and 30% a pantser. I like having an overall direction but there is more room for things to develop organically. The more fiction I write, the more I become comfortable letting the story go where it wants. The stories never ask for my opinion anyway!

In both nonfiction and fiction, I have moments when things take a life of their own though and I enjoy it a lot. As for ideas, they hit me without a warning.

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

Background by Rose B. Fischer.

7 thoughts on “The Digital Quill Answers: “Are you a planner by nature?”

  1. mbarkersimpson

    Things do have a habit of taking on a life of their own. I think that catches us all by surprise! I wish I planned to the same extent as you do. It would make life so much easier – but I think my plotter friends will rub off on me eventually. I plan more than I did before. Even when I wrote my academic papers for interpreting I rarely planned out, all the structure came afterwards and the word dump of course, due to those tight limits. My lecturer used to shake his head at me, especially as I also used to turn the assignments in with seconds to spare! 😀

    Thanks for sharing your process. It’s great to learn more about the way you approach a project.

    Liked by 2 people

    Reply
    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      The day the muses don’t start running around like they own the place (they do own my brain), it means I’m sick! And even when bedridden, they can continue to sit nearby and talk my ear off to entertain me (or drive me crazy or both).

      I had a couple of friends who wrote their academic papers like this. I never could do it! I was always a planner for them and during my Bachelor, a teacher who also taught in the US helped me with some structure tips that I still use now, like having your wordcount mostly broken down before writing (even if there is always some leeway). In French university, it wasn’t looked well upon, and my teacher told me to keep it quiet, but it was a life changer to me! Even now when I don’t have a firm word count per chapter in fiction or so, I see there is still a cohesion in balance.

      You’re welcome! I’m having fun with the dozen-ish questions I have! I’m going to run this as a weekly series for the months to come. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. mbarkersimpson

        That’s fabulous, and such a great idea for a series. I wish I’d had that tip. Sometimes it’s what my work is missing – that earlier structure. It takes me a while to repair the damage my disordered thoughts have created!

        Liked by 2 people

        Reply
  2. Robin Rivera

    I vote: Plan! I don’t know every tiny detail right from the start, but I like to keep a pretty tight hold on things. If I let the muse run wild I just end up cutting that stuff later.
    I like the idea of this series too. There are all sorts of writer questions you can play around with.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Natacha Guyot Post author

      Having a solid structure helps a lot. I have pantsed a few recent fiction projects, but only short stories. Longer works of fiction (or anything nonfiction) needs to be planned before I start. Even the novella I’m working on is planned, although I pantsed its original short story version.

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s