The Danger for Every Plotter and Pantser

There are several different types of writers in the world, all with different shades of being a plotter and a pantser. A plotter is a writer who plans the story in detail before they set out to actually write it, and a pantser is a writer who prefers to go along with where the story would logically go (The Write Practice, n.d.). In other words, they prefer to “make things up as they go along”. It depends on how intensely you sculpt the details or how carefree you are with them, but I think most writers in the world are a mix of the two, which is a nice balance so you would not have to be an absolute perfectionist, while never getting lost with your story.

However, perhaps this is why most writers tend to procrastinate, because the prospect of plotting and pantsing clash and contradict each other, culminating into a sort of creative pressure that the writers would often have no desire to pursue their dreams eagerly, like they should. So instead, they take time off instead of placing their stories together piece by piece, since they are afraid that their stories will be terrible, or already are, and then terribly received from the public (The Atlantic, 2014).

Rick and Morty co-creator Dan Harmon agrees with this, saying, “the reason you’re having a hard time writing is because of a conflict between the GOAL of writing well and the FEAR of writing badly.” He continues, “by default, our instinct is to conquer the fear, but our feelings are much, much, less within our control than the goals we set, and since it’s the conflict BETWEEN the two forces blocking you” (Split Sider, 2016).

As a result, they could take too long to finish their screenplay, novel, video-game, or comic-book. Writer and director Joss Whedon, a plotter, even said, “I have so many friends who have written two-thirds of a screenplay, and then re-written it for about three years” (Aerogramme Writer’s Studio, 2013). He and every other famous successful writer in history advised those aspiring to simply keep writing, because every writer is bound to write something bad. Even Ernest Hemingway, whose novel The Old Man and the Sea won the Nobel Prize for Literature, said that every first draft is horrible (Quote Investigator, n.d.).

From what I could tell you from all this, I think you would have to stick to either being a plotter or a pantser for the majority of your current project, because one of the two could encourage a regular writing routine that should not tire your passion for this craft. If you do, then perhaps writing is not for you.


Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips. (2017, September 22). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from

McArdle, M. (2014, February 12). Why Writers Are the Worst Procrastinators. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from

The Pros and Cons of Plotters and Pantsers. (2014, May 15). Retrieved October 30, 2017, from

Wright, M. (2016, November 04). Read Dan Harmon’s Excellent Advice for Overcoming Writer’s Block. Retrieved October 30, 2017, from






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