Written by Rachael Heffner
While discovering myself as a writer, I quickly learned about the generalizations known as "plotter" or "pantser". I have been writing pretty much since I was a kid. I used to sit in recess and write about how my dad was such a super hero and how badass of a cop he was. And then he would fly home and make me pancakes as big as my head. Now, although I have grown older and "wiser", I still wish this would happen.
|My "super hero" of a father and me. |
Also starring my awesome Winnie the Pooh pjs.
As time stretched out, I began to read and write more and more things at the edge of my seat. Throughout high school, I would have said that I was in fact a pantser. I never wrote a paper until the day it was due or the night, and I also never revised a paper. I would always go with my gut, tweak a few things, and bam. I was done. That was until Junior year of high school and this all came crumbling down. I began writing my first novel when I was in my English class, desperate to find a way out of Speedway, Indiana and into something more exotic. That was when I began to write.
|These are my notebooks that I wrote in for six months. |
You can see my "plotting" abilities already forming.
It started off as a pantsing project, but quickly developed into something more. Before, I had tried over and over to write a novel, to write that ONE thing that would take me away, but it never came. As I continued to write this first novel, things began to become more and more clear and that was when I knew I needed to switch things up.
I needed a plan.
At the back of my notebooks (oh, yes, the whole novel is hand written! lucky me!) I would write out the major scenes. I would write about what needed to happen and how it would happen. From there, I would construct the scene that would need to happen and then maybe make something up here and there.
This is when the evolution of the plotter came. I would write down ideas and lay them out as I worked at Steak n' Shake. I would come home with wads of napkins and receipts with the ideas and scenes on them. From there, I would lay them out storyboard like and change up everything. I would take some scenes and flip them, just to see what it made my characters do.
That was when I became the plotter I am today, but I would say I'm more of a mixture, leaning toward the plotting side. I still write something and let things happen. I tweak and send off to professors all the time, but hopefully, that will change and I can become more organized.