Author, Book, Non-Fiction, Writing

Are You a Pantser or Plotter (Outliner)?

By Tessa Dean copyright August 2020

Most writers are either a pantser, which means they write by the seat of the pants or a plotter, which means they have to have an outline that lays the whole story out before they start to write. Now there are a few people who are a combination of both and they are called plantsers.

Pantsers write one day at a time letting the story tell itself. When they start they are not sure whether it will be a novel, novella or simply a piece of flash fiction. They must be ready to scrap their work if it doesn’t work out. The pros of being a pantser mean that you can kill off a character and not have to rewrite the whole outline. The cons though mean that it is far easier to get stuck and not be able to continue on until you straighten it out in your head. You have no plans to fall back on.

A plotter or planner plans their whole novel before they start writing. They methodically plan it out from start to finish. It can be scribbled on a piece of scrap paper or neatly written or typed out. It can be plain and simple or fully color coded. This is great for people who don’t want to go off plot because they can’t focus. They don’t want to go off their original plan. The pros are that they hardly ever have writer’s block because they can’t finish their outline until the whole story emerges anyhow. The cons though are really rough as they can’t just make changes on the spur of the moment as they will have to change their whole outline to fit in the changes each and every time they make a change.

Although I am a pantser for the most part, when it comes to novel writing it is too long for my memory to remember all the details so I am becoming a plantser as I have to create a story bible with my world built in it. It may be a contemporary story, but there is still a world to create for fiction.

Tessa – 

Advocate for mental health and invisible illnesses

New Author’s Website –

Author – Old Writing –

About my life –

Author of a book, a work in progress on the blog,

Highlighted chapters are done and ready to be read.

I am also a youtuber in the authortube section on writing. See my videos here:

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