Busting the Pantster vs Plotter Myth

We humans seem to thrive on dichotomies. Descartes kick-started the mind/body dichotomy with his famous thought experiment in which he concluded ‘I think, therefore I am’.

In the last century, psychologists came up with the nature/nurture myth, and spent decades trying to work out what was more important to the development of a human being – nature, in the form of genetics, or nurture, in the form of social conditioning.

In recent years, science has busted both those myths. Human beings are neither mind, nor body, they are both, and their development depends on both their genetic heritage, and the effect of conditioning on that heritage…

This is my latest article for Indies Unlimited. If you’d like to read the rest of the article please follow the link below :


About acflory

I am the kind of person who always has to know why things are the way they are so my interests range from genetics and biology to politics and what makes people tick. For fun I play online mmorpgs, read, listen to a music, dance when I get the chance and landscape my rather large block. Work is writing. When a story I am working on is going well I'm on cloud nine. On bad days I go out and dig big holes... View all posts by acflory

8 responses to “Busting the Pantster vs Plotter Myth

  • Colin

    I shall represent the plotters of the congregation then. I can’t write a word without knowing where I’m going. Mind, I don’t keep a detailed plot, but I have figured the story out by the time I start.

    An online friend once put it like this: plotters do before the first draft what the pantsers do after. He meant to say that it’s the same process, but people are wired differently, and go through the process in different ways.


    • acflory

      Yes, yes and yes! I think that was pretty much what I was trying to say – the timing may be different but eventually we all have to go through the same process to achieve a quality result. Thank you Mr Plotter. 🙂


  • EllaDee

    I think I might be another breed… a prattler… the muses hit me with an idea, I fervently and badly type it into [lots of] words, then take a deep breath and go back tidying, shifting, editing and deleting… 🙂


  • Christie Meierz

    I’m an inveterate Pantser, but I’m in good company, with the likes of Stephen King (who sometimes doesn’t know who the killer is until he’s written 3/4 of the novel) and Patricia Briggs (who calls the one novel she plotted the worst writing experience she ever had).

    I only resort to plotting when I do something stupid like skip the middle (because I’m a silly grasshopper) and have to come back to it. I make a timeline of the scenes written so far and fill in the blanks.

    This whole argument/dichotomy/whatever reminds me of an argument I had with my first husband over how to mop the floor. Does it really matter *how* the floor gets mopped, as long as it gets clean? Some of the pantser/plotter debate involves people screaming, “zOMG! There are people out there doing it WRONG!!!” Kinda like my ex when I mopped the kitchen floor.

    Really, as long as you produce a good story, it doesn’t matter how you write it.


    • acflory

      lmao – I love your analogy to mopping the floor! Of course it doesn’t matter so long as it gets done…preferably by someone other than me [I live in hope]. And yes, those rule makers annoy the hell out of me too.


  • davidprosser

    I thunk therefore I is ! And what I is, is an undisciplined Pantster.
    xxx Hugs Galore xxx


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