Plot & Structure Exercise 30: Pants or Post-its?

Security or variety? To plan or not to plan? These are the questions a writer must ask himself when setting out on this adventure. In the conversation are two styles when it comes to plot: write from the seat of your pants, or plot out the order of events in deep detail.


So far I’ve preferred the first option, of writing whatever jibberish comes to my head. It’s been fun, exhilarating, sometimes even ecstatic. Where do these ideas come from? I ponder, as the words just flow through me. Then again, since I am developing my p-p-plot, I figure to  stretch a little other way. To blow up my bag  of tricks just a little, in the spirit of growth and improvement.


That is, plot a little before hand. I mean, what has the last 27 exercises plus idea generating 8s been all about?


. . .


In today’s exercise we are asked to answer the following questions as quickly as possible:


  1. When you go to a party, you most look forward to: Seeing old friends, meeting new people.
  2. If you had to choose which music to listen to, you would choose: Classical, Rock.
  3. What subject were you better at in school: Math, Art.
  4. How would your closest friend place you between: Control freak, wild child.
  5. Whom would you rather spend an hour with: William F Buckley, Jack Black.
  6. You most like: Security, Surprises.
  7. You would be happier as a: Software developer, poet.


Ah-ha! If you mostly chose the first option, you are most an outline person (OP); if you mostly chose the second option, you are mostly a non-outline person (NOP). Pick the system that fits you and give it a try. Good, because some of those I was really on the cusp — I like seeing old friends and meeting cool new people, while I also enjoy a good rock sesh as much as a chill classical sesh. 3 for OP and 4 for NOP. A balance, where I lean NOP. Just as I suspected!


What about you, Jack? What do you prefer to do?

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