Are Pantsers Just Plotters in Disguise?

Hmm.
Starting to feel like I build the worlds and throw the characters in. The laws of the lands are predetermined, but how they interact in it is up to them.
They run around in a maze of my own design.
I let the characters be themselves but I tweak the world.
Hmm. Interesting.

I'll make a plotter out of you yet, mwbahahaha :devilish:.
 
Gotcha and mostly agreed.

But - and apologies if being dense - does this mean you agree with the idea that pantsing is plotting in disguise, or do you think that doing most of the plotting subconsciously in your head is a sufficiently different method that you disagree about implying such closeness?
I think that's a hard one to answer. My plots mostly come together well, albeit not always until I have an ah-ha moment, and I've come to trust myself that somewhere, somehow, there is a plan. So if any plotting is done I'm not consciously aware of it but I do know sometimes that a scene or theme must stay, wiithout knowing why. Which indicates somewhere there is a plan.

But I doubt that's plotting at any level, more an instinctive feel.

So no.
 
Oy, I did say I wasn't trying to convert anyone.:whistle:
Just a joke. Just a joke.
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.
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:ninja:
 
I think that's a hard one to answer. My plots mostly come together well, albeit not always until I have an ah-ha moment, and I've come to trust myself that somewhere, somehow, there is a plan. So if any plotting is done I'm not consciously aware of it but I do know sometimes that a scene or theme must stay, wiithout knowing why. Which indicates somewhere there is a plan.

But I doubt that's plotting at any level, more an instinctive feel.

So no.

Once again, we're agreed.

I think for all the similarities - and there's a lot of them - the differences are too pronounced.
 
I'll confess I plot out the world.

*twirls handle bar moustache.*

Certain events well more like. This happens... eventually, probably, maybe?

Then I construct the characters plot out their pysches, what makes them tick, but that's it. Other than playing with them like a set of dolls making them kiss periodically I have no plans for them.

They interact with one another. And occasionally I shoot the bow I stole from Cupid. Miss periodically and have it peg a character from another story, but eventually things work out with minimal unintended causalities and fires.

Sure I plot out lore religiously like I'm trying to find out a loophole in the law to avoid the firing squad.

I shall gladly confess I go mental over the characters psychological state of being and past.

But the story!

*throws hands in the air!*

ANARACHY!

That's how I work. I just wind them up grab the spray bottle and if they misbehave I harshly kindly guide them to the semi-possibly-maybe correct path.

And if they complain I break thier ungrateful little I listen to their complaints fully and take it into consideration.:whistle:
 
Hey you know the saying about Monkeys and typewriters.;)

Yes! Yes that's it. *orders 1 million monkey and 1 million typewriters and 1 million inspectors*

Ya know, mostly they'd probably just fling their poo.

Not only that, but computers and AI might finally be encroaching into writer's territory! They have a program that can hash strings of text from old science fiction novels and just about weave it into a novel. *goes on an anti tech rant while typing on an iphone*
 
ANARACHY!
I think the spelling of this word embodies its meaning perfectly.

Never! *pelts out a 10,000 word story without thinking about what he's doing at all* WHEEE!!!
The pantsforce is strong with this one...

I think that's a hard one to answer. My plots mostly come together well, albeit not always until I have an ah-ha moment, and I've come to trust myself that somewhere, somehow, there is a plan. So if any plotting is done I'm not consciously aware of it but I do know sometimes that a scene or theme must stay, wiithout knowing why. Which indicates somewhere there is a plan.
But I doubt that's plotting at any level, more an instinctive feel.
Buuuuut, that does sort of answer the title question of this post! :devilish: At one point experienced pantsers will integrate plotting strategies, either because they find plotting is more useful than they let on, or because pantsing is not as magical as they once thought. I think that's part of my thesis (I have the imperative need to have our emotes expanded. I need the one with the academic cap...)

PS: And for the future, I also need the one that claps sarcastically :LOL:. I promise to use it wisely :whistle:.
 
The pantsforce is strong with this one....

Total derail here but just had to include this.....years back there was a glorious idea of replacing key words in Star Wars lines with "pants". Did a search and here is one of many examples...
Replace a word from a Star Wars quote with "pants", here are the BEST results:

And I think it is funnier in UK English as pants are underpants/briefs/knickers - rather than trousers.....


And back onto thread - don't think anyone has said this yet - but I think how you write changes with experience and time, or at least it has for me. You learn what works for you, and you learn what works for different books - some books need more plotting than others.
On the original question I'd say I'm about 50:50. So have fun pantsing around with the initial idea to find out who it is and where it is, then pants the plot outline - try variations. Finish up with a broad plot outline, do some writing, find that I've pantsed in places and the result is either veering from the plot line or on it, and may or may not have implications for later bits in the plot. Revise the plot and write some more. Or don't revise the plot and cut out the pantsing veerings and save them in miscellaneous folder for later use (or oblivion).
 
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I would love to write freely the way some here do. That is to say, I do write that way, but when I do, certain problems crop up.

One, I jump. I'll be writing along, developing character, filling out setting, moving the plot forward, and I come to a valley where I can't see. I can see the hill on the other side, where the story resumes, but just here, the valley of the next few paragraphs or chapter, it's all dark. So I jump to the other side and keep going. By the time I reach the story's end, I have any number of these gaps. Which is fine, except those dark places hold key elements of the story--where a character changes, important sub-plots that impact the main plot, or whatever. And here's the key part: filling those in often changes the story I've got written, which means significant re-writing.

Two, I crash. I get to a point, possibly related to One, where I just can't go forward. The character's in an untenable place. I've got to throw out paragraphs or chapters and rewrite.

Three, I hiccup. This one's consistency. Names change, behaviors change, eye color changes, all that sort of thing. The physical attributes are just copyediting, but the behaviors can have a significant effect on the rest of the story. More rewriting. This also includes things such as a character knowing something that later writing means they cannot have known.

There are other issues, but you get the idea. For the life of me I don't see how anyone manages to get from beginning to end without encountering these.

So I try to outline. It does no good. I also don't understand people who say outlining takes away creativity--it's just another form of writing--and I also don't understand being enslaved by an outline. I break away from my outline almost as soon as it's no longer in my field of view. Moreover, I consistently find that the genuinely interesting--which means genuinely difficult--parts of the story are never in the outline. I encounter them as I write. Things such as the motivation I *thought* was right on the money, and is right there in the outline, turns out to be facile or off-target, and the outline didn't help with that at all.

Anyone got something other than outlining and discovery writing? Automatic writing perhaps? :)
 
I would love to write freely the way some here do. That is to say, I do write that way, but when I do, certain problems crop up.

One, I jump. I'll be writing along, developing character, filling out setting, moving the plot forward, and I come to a valley where I can't see. I can see the hill on the other side, where the story resumes, but just here, the valley of the next few paragraphs or chapter, it's all dark. So I jump to the other side and keep going. By the time I reach the story's end, I have any number of these gaps. Which is fine, except those dark places hold key elements of the story--where a character changes, important sub-plots that impact the main plot, or whatever. And here's the key part: filling those in often changes the story I've got written, which means significant re-writing.

Two, I crash. I get to a point, possibly related to One, where I just can't go forward. The character's in an untenable place. I've got to throw out paragraphs or chapters and rewrite.

Three, I hiccup. This one's consistency. Names change, behaviors change, eye color changes, all that sort of thing. The physical attributes are just copyediting, but the behaviors can have a significant effect on the rest of the story. More rewriting. This also includes things such as a character knowing something that later writing means they cannot have known.

There are other issues, but you get the idea. For the life of me I don't see how anyone manages to get from beginning to end without encountering these.

So I try to outline. It does no good. I also don't understand people who say outlining takes away creativity--it's just another form of writing--and I also don't understand being enslaved by an outline. I break away from my outline almost as soon as it's no longer in my field of view. Moreover, I consistently find that the genuinely interesting--which means genuinely difficult--parts of the story are never in the outline. I encounter them as I write. Things such as the motivation I *thought* was right on the money, and is right there in the outline, turns out to be facile or off-target, and the outline didn't help with that at all.

Anyone got something other than outlining and discovery writing? Automatic writing perhaps? :)

That basically describes how I write. Really I try not to make myself follow any rules.
 
I consistently find that the genuinely interesting--which means genuinely difficult--parts of the story are never in the outline. I encounter them as I write.
I think there's a bias there: you may find it interesting PRECISELY because it isn't planned. It's not that your planned thing wasn't as interesting. It's that you are surprising yourself, and are almost approaching the new development with the fascination of a first-time reader. One of the pitfalls of discovery writing for me is that some don't handle that fascination well, as they can lose objectivity concerning their new fun shiny plot twist, throwing away their carefully planned thing for the flavour of the hour. Some do not differentiate between a fresh thing being "cool" because it's new and it being objectively interesting to an external reader. In those situations, I would let the story ferment in the drawer for a few weeks, then check to see if your "improvised development" (now no longer fresh and exciting) still gives you the goosebumps you first had upon envisioning it, so you can compare what you had with what you have, with a cool head.

Anyone got something other than outlining and discovery writing? Automatic writing perhaps? :)
How about that snowflake method? Haven't tried it myself, but I think it's like doing a synopsis of your story in gradual increments through rewrites, adding details and info until you have your story condensed into a few pages. It looks like organised brainstorming.
 
Funny you say that, Ihe--snowflake is exactly what I'm trying. Mid-stream.

I'm 50k into a novel that I *thought* I had imagined pretty well. My MC has a good journey trying to figure out who she is--she believes she is half-elf, half-human only to discover she is neither. As I worked along, I discovered one problem was tying her internal struggle to something external. This isn't literary fiction, it's fantasy, so something has to happen *and* it has to happen because of her internal struggle. Outside and inside have to connect and right now they aren't. Or, rather, the connections feel contrived right now.

So I'm in the Great Swampy Middle, a familiar if unpleasant place. I've written tons of meta-commentary trying to figure my way through the mess but my only success has been to have a really good idea of where I'm failing.

I'm turning to the snowflake to see if I can work my way out of this. Putting my characters into situations, writing description, dialog, set-piece battles, heart-wrenching personal scenes, all that is meat and potatoes for me. Plotting and pacing are the bugaboo. I get there, but ridiculously slowly.

Pace Tolkien, some who wander are in fact completely lost.
 
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