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Thursday, July 09, 2015

Plotters With Attitude

I checked out this writing book recently that sounded interesting to me. The title made me think that it would help seat-of-the-pants, fly-into-the-mist (AKA pantser) writers merge their style with some plotting. After reading the description and the reviews, it appeared that my take on the book was right and I bought it.

I'm not a pure pantser, but I'm definitely on that side of the scale. I used to be more of a pantser than I am now, but I've discovered that I like having a framework in place before I pants all around it. ;-) Even so, plotting things out before I write them is hard for me and I was hoping for some ideas on how to use my strengths to come up with a way to outline or something.

Then I opened the book and started reading. The more I read the more furious I became. Why? Because the author of the book had a big, huge obnoxious attitude. She all but said that the reason we pantsers bought her book is because we knew the plotter's way was superior.

There might have been steam coming out of my ears and fire from my eyes, I was that angry. Listen up, plotters. You know why pantsers keep buying plotting books? Because jerks who plot continually make us feel our way is inferior. It is NOT inferior, it's different. I didn't buy your freaking book because I thought I was doing it wrong, I bought it because I thought your book would teach me to take my strengths (pantsing) and combine it with some way to work in a solid framework.

I've tried being a plotter and I hated it so much that I nearly quit writing. I DON'T WANT TO BE A PURE PLOTTER! Gah!

This woman isn't alone. When I was a teenager and trying to learn about writing, every how to write book I read had this kind of attitude, that real writers plot 100% of their story. When writers talk, a lot of plotters bring that attitude to the table. They can't comprehend that their way isn't the better way.

You know what? If plotting works for you, it's the better way for you. If pantsing works for you, than pantsing is the better way for you to write. My heartfelt wish is that writers would stop judging the way other writers work. There is no superior and inferior there is only the process that helps you get your words on the page.

And you know what else? I have never heard a pantser judge a plotter the way plotters regularly judge pantsers. It's not all plotters, let me be clear on that. There are a lot of great plotters who understand their way is good for them, but might not be good for someone else. I'm talking about the plotters with an attitude. We've all met them.

My fellow pantsers, the next time someone tells you your way of writing is wrong, don't believe it. Hold your head up and give them a great big, "Whatever."

I'm still looking for a book like the one I thought I was buying.