Plotting vs. Pantsing

I am a plotter. I’ve tried pantsing it, and I get lost every time. I need to understand my beginning, middle checkpoints and ending before I can write word one. Especially I need that end, something for me to aim toward.

That said, things change a lot between word one and the time I can write THE END.

Truth be told, I think I’m more of a “puzzler” as I’ve seen it called on another thread. I have the big picture, my beginning checkpoints and end as I said, and then I write individual snippets of the story, not even remotely in order, and spend the rest of my time stringing those snippets into working scenes. I have never actually written a book that conforms to the original outline or synopsis, although the checkpoints are almost always solid. Just another reason why I don’t bother with a synopsis until after completion. I generally need to be around the 40K word mark before I’m really sure of the structure. I would love to be a writer who can, as they say, begin at the beginning, go all the way to the end and then stop. But it’s never happened so far and I have no reason to believe that will ever change. It’s my process and I’ve learned to accept it.

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