It’s said there are two types of writers: pantsers and plotters. Pantsers basically just wing it. They write whatever their heart desires and see where their characters take them. Plotters plan out their stories before starting the adventure of writing. They typically create some form of an outline and use that to guide their writing. While pantsers seem to have more fun and can be successful, plotters tend to not write themselves into a corner as easily . . . sometimes at the expense of spontaneity. Then, of course, there’s a middle ground: Some writers create a general outline and then allow their story to deviate as new inspiration and ideas arise during the process. If you’ve been considering writing a book, you may have come across arguments in the writing community about which method is best. That, however, depends on your genre, your time schedule, and most of all, your preferences.
Some genres allow you to be more flexible while writing than others. Fiction is generally more forgiving than nonfiction. Both have structures, but it’s easier to go off the beaten path with, say, fantasy than how-to guides. When a genre is more structured, more concrete, or when more research is required for certain topics, it usually helps to plan ahead so you can ensure your research and writing process are thorough. For instance, if you’re writing a how-to book, it’s beneficial to have a brainstorming session to organize your thoughts and determine the best way to present them so that you can create a coherent manuscript.
If you’re budgeting your time, you’ll likely find it helpful to plot your book out before writing. It may seem to take longer at first, but if you develop a game plan from the start, you won’t have to try to work out key plot points or your delivery once you’re writing. If you already have a blog, it may help to draw ideas from it, or even to convert old blog posts into chapters of your book, primarily if you’re writing nonfiction and your blog is info-based.
You can try pantsing and plotting to see which allows your writing to flow better and still produces a quality product. You may find that a mix of both works best for you. For some genres, even if you prefer pantsing, you’ll likely find that creating an outline or at least a general structure first will help you keep your thoughts organized.
Of course, when you’ve completed your manuscript, it’ll be time to polish and publish it. 1106 Design offers a complete suite of publishing services, from editing to marketing. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help see you through your publishing journey.