Pantsing vs. Plotting vs. Plopping

Pantsing and Plotting. These are terms you hear often when engage in NaNoWriMo related activities.

Pantsing is…

Writing by the seat of your pants. You put your fingers on the keyboard and you type. You’re not concerned about plot, characters, conflict, resolution, climax or any structure at this point. Your only goal is to create and not get held back by trying to figure out too many details. This is how I started my in-progress novel. It’s invigorating. I suggest you try it.

Plotting is…

Figuring out the main details before you get started. Some people spend a whole month plotting an entire book before they ever write a single word. They create the story arch and the conflicts that will happen and when they’ll happen. They outline chapters and put it in chronological order. They may even know the ending to the story. Plotting is great for those who have a vision and want to secure it so that they’re not wasting time. I used plotting a bit when I got halfway through my novel. It was fascinating and helped me focus on where there were gaps that needed to be filled.

Neither is better than the other and each has its place in the writing world. Since I am already a planner by nature, pantsing is more fun because it lets me run wild for a bit without overthinking the details. But I know I need to think about those details eventually. Sometimes plotting after I’m pantsing means re-work. So there are pros and cons to each.

And plopping?

HA! It’s something that has nothing to do with the writing world, but everything to do with those born with curly hair. Buzzfeed has a great tutorial on this. As someone who’s always looking for the “good” curls (not the wavy, frizzy mess I currently achieve when I try defusing my hair), this appeals to my senses.


Are you a pantser? A plotter? A plopper? No shame in your choices. Share it with the world!

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