Plotster vs. Pantster



Up until recently, I’ve always considered myself a pantster. (If you’re clueless to the terms a plotster is an author who meticulously plots each aspect of their novel while a pantster just writes, letting the story flow as it comes to them)  I felt like I could just let the muse direct the story through me onto the paper.  Wow, I was wrong.  I realized that some kind of plotting or outlining is needed.  Otherwise, you find yourself banging your head when the story plots repeat or the direction gets lost in the prose.  I found out the hard way. I’m in the middle of editing my YA story Broken, and after issues with writing a synopsis, character motivation and too much of this going on, and too much nonessential scenes – I realized my faux pas.  I’m going to have to plot this puppy. So I bought foam board, and thank goodness Staples had a monster pack of Sticky notes and Sharpies on sale.  And I did what I should have early on – I plotted Broken.  And do you know what I found? I could see the whole picture and see where I could tighten scenes that weren’t flowing.  I could move a scene and see how it made the rest flow stronger.  And I came up with a better opening!!!!

So what do you?  I know this question has been asked before.  But if you plot and outline, what methods and techniques do you use?  Or if you like to fly by the seat of your pants, how do you keep it all organized?