Plotter/Pantster/Prankster


In getting ready to write a marathon length manuscript, I wonder whether I need to plan meticulously or whether my overconfident self can survive by thinking up things as I write. 
Usually, my approach is to think up of something I would like to write about, keeping that thought in my mind for a few hours, savouring it and anticipating the pleasure of writing. When I feel calm and ready, I roll up my sleeves and get down to it. Ideas and words come in a torrent, sometimes a trickle that does not dry up till the work is done. That makes me a pantster. 

The only doubt here is whether that trickle can stay steady in the face of the gargantuan task of finishing NaNoWriMo. 

Do I need to plan out my storyline, my characters, my plots and sub plots? Do I need to think of the voice, the mood and the imagery? Do I really need to create character profiles and mind map my story? Do I need to become a big time planner? 

In midst of all this, I am taken to be a prankster by most of the people I know. They think that attempting the NaNoWriMo is like pulling off a prank. For one, I have been busy and maybe getting busier still. And for another, this seems too lofty a thing. 

I think I would need skills of all three kinds. 

What are your views on any piece of long form writing? Do you plan meticulously or go with the flow? 

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26 Comments

  1. I have always been a prankster and it never ended well. I’d say, have an outline of the basic plot and at least what/who you want the main characters to be like. As the story goes, you can twist and turn it the way you like, but I feel having a basic outline would help a great deal.

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  2. So you are a prankster too πŸ™‚ Yup, we would get along well πŸ™‚
    A outline is a great way to start. I went to a writing conference this summer and that was advice that was given , to start with an outline and always know who your protagonist and antagonist are going to be and then the other characters can fall into place.
    Good luck! Excited to hear how it goes!

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  3. whatever works for YOU πŸ˜€ i have sat to endlessness of blinking cursors after having planned it all to death perfectly spontaneousl. I have blundered about whimsically and had the goal emptied of meaning too. whatever works for you. however rules and my personality make merry the comedy of how one side loses. I hope youmake merry the pranks hopefully in a non-keesian fashion. one flew over the cuckoo’s nest, ken keesey an original of the merry pranksters taking a sixties psychedlic bus tour from california to new york or some such complete with lsd’ed orange juice…far out, man…so far out I’m rather sure you’d not laugh at the 104K price tag in sixty four of such a trip…not necessarily wise to spend your entire fortune on a party…nevermind for a moment the party may have been harmful. prank away…safely.

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      1. oh, just because it’s fun, by finding your way I would hope this means a killer pose of determination and one’s hand protecting the face and scouting the way forward in reality but looking kung fu master. πŸ˜‰
        you do not have to make ridiculous noises unless you feel it part of the method of acting. πŸ˜€

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  4. I keep oscillating between all the various classifications of a writer. I guess I’m just glad I get the output. As for you, I’d say go with the flow. Keep a tab on the way things are going. Your mind will do the rest. Cheers!

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  5. I’m trying NaNoWriMo for the first time. For something this size I’m planning! It’s easy to be a panster for short pieces, but with this a roadmap will help! Good luck to us all! πŸ™‚

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  6. Good luck! πŸ™‚
    I would participate too, but this is my first year and I am trying to plan all that I can (and I’m not doing very well, if I have to be honest, but I’m trying to have at least an outline for everything, just for my peace of mind!)

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  7. I seem to be a pantster when it comes to Nano. Despite having several novels meticulously planned out and ready to be written, I’ve again decided to write a story I had only the vaguest idea for at the beginning of November. Like you, I just hope the flow of ideas doesn’t dry up before the end of the month! Good luck, whichever method you decide to work with. πŸ™‚

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    1. It is reassuring to know that you can plan well and yet decided to write a story that is least researched for NaNoWriMo.
      Ten days into November and I am already floundering for ideas but something or the other occurs to me and the thrill of the discovery is worth being a Pantster for πŸ™‚

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