Panster or Plotter?

by Crymsyn Hart

Have you ever had something start off as a funny, passing idea, and then before you know it, that idea has greatly taken over your brain and infected you. I’m sure it happens to everyone even those who are not writers. Something small nitpicks at you until you have to give it some attention. And then when you do, it snowballs and takes over a great portion of your mind as if it is controlling you and not the other way around. That’s what happened to me when I was hanging out with some author friends at Authors After Dark. I had made the offhand comment about writing about the coffin in my dining room. Yes I know. I really do have a coffin in my dining room.

So I introduced him to the world a couple of weeks and he has taken my brain by storm. He calls himself Jerry and wants to be the spotlight of my thoughts. As a character, I honestly never assumed I would be writing about a coffin. But then again that is how character development normally works for me. I never plot out a book. I’m a panster. I write and write and the characters and the plot reveal more of themselves to me as I write.

It can get very frustrating at times. Because I want the characters and the plot to go one way, but oh no. They veer off in a completely other direction and I normally have to catch up. Sometimes, it is a long jog to get back on track. The times I have tried to plot haven’t gone very well. The characters usually end up hating me when I do and rewrites ensue.

So what are you? Do you plot or do you go where the characters take you?
Do you ever find it frustrating when it doesn’t go your way?

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