The grey plotters.

Posted: October 21, 2014 in Uncategorized

This is my own title. I consider this my hybrid of plotting and pantsing.

Confused? You needn’t be. I have a rough outline in my mind and I customize this outline every day of my life. That means character arcs and endings are ideas. I don’t write them. I ponder. I only do this because it gives me direction.

Like all good road trips it is not only about the destination. This is where my pantsing kicks in. As long as I write to certain climatic points I am satisfied. I do not want to debate the outliner and pantser thing. I only feel that…we… the grey plotters do not get help. In a way this is better. Does the painter ask the painter next door how he should paint? I am not talking about skill or technique.

I am here to reassure the grey plotters to continue their pursuit of writing stories just as they wish. I tell myself that if I lost a story, I would plot. If my mind wasn’t capable of handling 30 characters, their places, their role and their importance. I would draw a map. The pantsers that fail are the ones who don’t think enough about certain aspects. They fail to do the little plotting that needs to be done. They fail to plot in their minds.

”Now, wickidy whoa, Son, you are failing to realize the pros of outlining and the cons of pantsing.”

Do I really? First things first. The greatest advantage of being a grey plotter and pantser is that I am way closer to a reader than any outliner. I am in a sense the first beta reader. I honestly don’t plan much. A death of a character is as heart wrenching as any of your favourite characters’ on the big screen. I have just as much fun writing as I do watching my favorite movies. If I write a paragraph that sucks. Guess what happens. I as a ”beta reader” edits it on the spot. (not finally, but it definitely helps)

I know hardcore outliners would tell me I have massive editing to do and that I will rewrite it a lot of times more. Do I now? It sounds like the outliners know my mind… when they don’t. They will also tell me that I have a lot more plot holes. Interesting… now stop right there. I told you a great advantage of grey plotting. We are readers. Do you mean to tell me that a moviegoer or reader needs to watch a film or read a book a lot of times to pick up plot holes. That is pathetic. Sure, minor errors will need an edit. Give me a minute and I can write down every single major plot hole of my first draft.

I don’t know about you… but I feel like I have a better grip on my story than many outliners have. Alas, it is only a method. A method I am happy with.


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