Plotters vs. Pansters
By Melissa Snark
Lately, I've seen a lot of two particular terms brandied about on various author and writing blogs. Plotters and Pansters. The debate rages across forums and conferences. It's an issue that transcends genre, common to all authors. What are they? Who are they? Why does it even matter?
Doesn't sound very romantic, does it? In fact, it brings to mind the image of an author kneeling in a patch of garden soil. Through tedious and attentive toil, the plotter carefully attends to their story seedlings, waiting for the moment when the plant blooms and produces full blown characters, chapters and complete story outlines. Plotters strive to have their story grow organically from their labor, minimizing wasted effort.
Plotters are writers who work within a structural framework. There are a number of tools employed to create the scaffolding that can include: outlines, charts, diagrams, index cards, and software programs such as Scrivener. A plotter often knows the beginning, middle and conclusion of the story before the writing process even begins and uncertainty imparts a sense of anxiety. Research is fundamental to a plotter's understanding of a topic before she feels comfortable writing about it.