Plotter vs. Pantser: John Scalzi and the Gremlin on My Shoulder

DISCLAIMER : I COULD BE WRONG

When I started writing, I read all the tips and tricks and how-to blogs and books. I was doing it wrong. Plotters were good; pantsers were bad. I was, and am, a pantser. I tried to plot using every form and method available: the column system, visualized thinking, the snowflake, starting with the ending—nothing gelled. After spending three hours one day struggling to plot a simple chapter, I gave it up, turned to my keyboard, and let the words flow. I haven’t looked back, but ever so often the little gremlin on my shoulder will whisper, “Pantsers are losers.”John Scalzi

A year after I’d thrown in the towel, I read a blog post by my favorite contemporary science fiction author. OMG! He’s a pantser! I jumped from my desk and ran to tell my husband. “You’ll never guess,” I said, excitedly, “John Scalzi’s a pantser.” At which he replied, “Have…

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