Home » General » Reverse Plotting: Plotting for Pantsters

Reverse Plotting: Plotting for Pantsters

In the writing world one is either a Plotter or a Pantster. A plotter, as the name suggests, plots out their story before writing. A Pantster, however, takes an idea and runs with it, often times not knowing where a scene is heading until the words are written.

I’m a Pantster. To the core. I love the concept of plotting, love what a Plotter can do with the knowledge of where their story is going. The ability to weave plot ideas throughout the entire novel, from the start, because said idea is known at the start. I. Just. Can’t. Do. It. I’ve tried but the fact of the matter is, I don’t know where my story is going until it’s written. So I can attempt to plot all I want, I need to write out the scenes first.

That’s not to say I don’t have some semblance of a plot in my head. I do. I sometimes have whole scenes written in my head. But it’s never real until it’s typed.

This doesn’t change my jealousy over Plotters.

I decided to give something I’m calling “Reverse Plotting” a try. I plotted out my story, after the first draft was finished. The end result looks like this:

WP_20140829_005

(And yes, those are my stuffed animals. I’m a big kid!)

That’s every scene in the novel, taped to my closet. At first glance: I write too many scenes! At second glance: I can see the entire novel at once! This is something I’ve often wanted to do, see everything. My memory is worth crap, so it’s hard to keep all-important details in mind as I read and write. It’s easier to keep those details as I scan through the note cards.

I already know several areas I need to fix in this novel. So I’ve gone through, marking up my note cards, putting down ideas for changes. I’m ready to shake things up.

And each time I walk by my closet I get a little happy writer vibe, and the urge to sit down with my laptop and work out the kinks in this novel.

It’s too early to say how this will help or hinder me. I stocked up on note cards, so I’m hoping for help over hinder! I will say, this is the only wallpaper I have in my home, and I think it’s mighty pretty

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go stare at it some more and get some things tweaked out…

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