Planner or Pantser?

How do you begin your writing process? Do you plan out your plot, characters, and brainstorm? Or, do you sit down and start writing without a specific plan? We’re all different and there is no perfect answer.

I thought I’d share the planning strategies I’m currently using for my WIP.

1. Character Development Worksheet


I use this list in an excel sheet. Even if some of the information never makes it into my book, I make sure to list each item. This allows me to get to know my character inside and out. I can’t begin writing until this step is done.

2. Plot Diagram


This takes me a while, but I plan my plot out and ensure that I know exactly what is going to happen and when. I really enjoy this part.

3. Research


Another favorite of mine is Research. I love to learn. When I do research for a novel look-up multiple topics. Environment, weather, eras, wars, historical artifacts, clothing, mannerisms, values, traditions, religions, hierarchy, royalty, family position, and… You get the idea. I’m thorough and I try to ensure I am accurate in my depictions.

4. Logistics

xv.-preparation-iStock-865196848.jpgI pick a genre. I set a word count goal. I select all writing materials I’ll need.

The most important step is to create my writing routine. I pick the perfect writing spot, my breaks, my meal times, and I choose a length of time to write. Personally, I write between 2-4 hours a day.

5. Write


I’m currently in this phase. I’ve been writing for a few weeks on my WIP.


What are your strategies? How are they different from mine? I look forward to hearing ideas from others. I love to learn what other writers do to prepare.



2 thoughts on “Planner or Pantser?

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  1. this entry is exactly why i never wrote a book, like i had wanted to for decades. that’s too much work for me. i thought it would be complicated, but wow, that is way complicated. that’s what i love about my new resist blog and twitter. i can flit about, give some advice, say something profound (in my head anyway).
    Good Luck to you. you have way more patience than i do!

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