Tuesday, December 3, 2013

To Plot Or Not To Plot

To plot or not to plot, ah, that is a thorny question.

There is no right or wrong answer.

If you prefer to sit down and wait for the muses to visit, what you end up with as a first draft may need some reverse engineering.

If you plot first then write, the story may change and your first draft is dramatically different than the plan you started with.

Both are perfectly acceptable, as is any method in between. The important part is to keep writing, growing your craft, and enjoying it.

Over the years, our contributors have weighed in on the debate:

Pantsing Versus Plotting

Types of Writers

For more information about the layering method, check out Story Building Blocks I: The Four Layers of Conflict, which is available in print and e-book versions. It would make a terrific addition to your Christmas wish list or a gift for other writers in your life.

Diana Hurwitz is the author of Story Building Blocks: The Four Layers of Conflict, Story Building Blocks II: Crafting Believable Conflict, Story Building Blocks III: The Revision Layers, and the YA adventure series Mythikas Island. Her weekly blog, Game On: Crafting Believable Conflict explores how characters behave and misbehave. Visit DianaHurwitz.com for more information and free writing tools. You can follow her on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Typically, I have a general plot in mind, but my characters often have ideas of their own. When we butt heads, however, I'm the one at the keyboard, so I usually have the last word on plot. :-)

    1. I like the way you maintain control, Linda. LOL

  2. Ah, the ongoing saga of plotting. I'm glad you clarified that there is no right or wrong way. I think new writers can sometimes get hung up on what they perceive as "the rules."

  3. Sometimes characters take on a life of their own and take the tale to where they want it to.


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