Friday, November 8, 2013

Are You a Plotter or Pantser? Poetry Friday, AND...a 2 Weeks of Thanks-Giving Teaser

Howdy, Campers--and Happy Poetry Friday!

Diane of Random Noodling is today's host ~ thanks, Diane! 
(My poem's below.)

Okay, Campers...

Are you a Plotter?

Or a Pantser?

Do you plot, plan and outline before you begin, or do you write by the seat of your pants, plunging right in? See my TeachingAuthor blogmate (and confessed Pantser) Carmela's column on this topic (and this post...and on and on...and if you want to lose yourself completely down the rabbit hole and never get down to your own writing, Google "pantser")

Or maybe you're a Hybird?

Marc, of says Hybirds are those who "…plot part of the book, or loosely plot the whole thing, and then pants their way through the gaps. Or they might pants their way through portions, but plot other, more difficult scenes to help them keep track of things or to get through it without stumbling or sidetracking...

Marc continues: "I believe that a person is, by nature, one or the other, and only a select few can do both effectively. If you’ve been trying to plot out a novel, and find that you are having trouble, try just writing down whatever comes to your head and pants it for a while. Conversely, if you get stuck pantsing it, try plotting out the next scene and that might help you get moving again."

Me? I'll confess, I'm no hybird.  I'm a full-on, La-La-La, finger in the fudge jar, painted flowers on my face Pantser.

by April Halprin Wayland

When you sit down to write do you fret and grow hot,
design or outline your book's intricate plot?
Is there sweat on your brow, is there blood on your blotter?
Do you work with a ruler?  Kid, are you a Plotter?
Do you run out the door under moonlight to dance?
Do you scribble your tales by the seat of your pants?
Are there horses and fig trees and strange dream enhancers
in your room where you write—Honey, are you a Pantser?
(c) 2013 April Halprin Wayland

I'll admit it: this is a stereotyping poem...some of my best friends are Plotters!  I had fun writing it but it's probably just a tad too snarky to be true.

And that may be a downfall of being a Pantser.  Sometimes I let the adventure of where the heck are we going with this? to overpower the story I meant to tell.

What about you--are you a Plotter, a Panster or a Hybird?  Write a poem with your answer in our comments!

And now for a quick teaser about TeacherAuthors' annual Two Weeks of Thanks-Giving!

We're hoping you'll join in the celebration! Simply post a short thank you (preferably in the form of a Thanku or some other poetry form) to someone who's made a difference in ensuring others receive quality education (see this link )—we’ll include a round-up of links to participating blog posts.  Start thinking about who you'd like to thank now--then post your thank you here between November 15-29th!

all photos courtesy

posted by the seat of my pants by April Halprin Wayland.  Thank you for coming.


Diane Mayr said...

What fun! I'm definitely a pantser! And someone who lets the poem take over and decide what it wants to be. I'm often tempted to call myself a channeler, but that's just too hoodoo-y for me!

Carmela Martino said...

Thanks for sharing Marc's thoughts on "Hybrids," April. I've also seen the word "plotster" applied to Hybrids.
>>strange dream enhancers<<
Hmm. I'm wondering just what these might be, April. :-)

Linda B said...

I guess I am a pantser, then return and plot to revise. Fun to ponder! (3 p's!)

April Halprin Wayland said...

Diane--channeler is an interesting way of seeing Pantsers--it works for me!

Carmela--umm....dream enhancers...yes--well, mostly I used it because it rhymed with pantser and sounded out-of-this-worldy. I swear that's why...

Linda--can you email me? I can't find your email address. Meanwhile, Pondering Pantsers vs Plotters Produces Precious little Payoff...


Robyn Hood Black said...

How did I know
before reading your answer
that April, my Dear,
of course you're a pantser!

(I personally like a little plotting with my pantsing.)

Liz Steinglass said...

I'm definitely a pantser! I can imagine using this poem in class to initiate a discussion about writing process.

Katie Kath said...

I think it depends on what I'm doing. If I'm creating personal work, I'm a pantser! Otherwise, I try to do lots of planning (like with your new book, which I'm excited to illustrate!! :)

Margaret Simon said...

So happy to see so many pantsers here because that is what I am and I thought something was wrong with me. Thanks for making me feel welcome and that I am OK to be who I am.

Unknown said...

The voice is clear but the roads Meet only in my mind
And I try to see a way through
But I need my notes
They give security and form
They give me plot and direction
Just looking at a blueprint
Gives me shivers
Virgo, you say.
Bah! I say.
I like face painting too!

April Halprin Wayland said...

Robyn, oh Robyn, it's easy to tell you know I'm a Pantser--you know me well!

Liz--I'd be thrilled if this poem inspired talk about the writing process!

Katie--I'm over the moon that you'll be illustrating my next book--yay!

Deborah--I love your poetic response to the images--wonderful!

Michelle Heidenrich Barnes said...

What a fun post, April. Me?

I swing one way
and then the other.
My dad was a pantser;
the plotter, my mother. ;)