There's a lot of talk in the writing community about "plotters" and "pantsers" - those who plan out every twist and turn of their novels and those who just go with the flow with no plan in sight. Both methods work for different people or on different projects.
(Hehehe. "Pantser" is a funny word.)
Ugh, grow up, Parenthetical Voice . . . Actually, you're right. It kind of is.
But I'm not here to talk about funny words. Despite leaning towards pantserdom myself, I want to talk about the importance of knowing your ending. This topic has been on my mind a lot lately, between TV show finales, movies, and books. I'm realizing, not for the first time, the importance of a solid, stable ending.
(You're talking about Gossip Girl, aren't you?)
Shhh, Parenthetical Voice. No spoilers here.
And this isn't about any one show or movie or book. It's about endings. For me, a good ending can make or break a book. I've read books with endings SO GOOD that it made me like an otherwise lackluster read. I've also read endings so bad that they ruined a book I thought I was enjoying. Endings are very, very important.
Which is why it's important to know where you're headed.
(But what if you're a pantser? Why would you know the ending if you're a pantser? Pantser, pantser, pantser!)
Okay, I get it. You like the word "pantser."
And I'm not saying every detail of the ending should be planned out. I'm just saying a general idea can really help when it comes to writing a novel. For instance, say you're writing a mystery novel. You should really know who the killer is before you get to the end. Because chances are, if you decide who it is too late, you're going to end up with a plethora of plot holes. Because, oh snap! You have the killer across town when a murder happened.
(Well, that's a good alibi!)
Yeah, but a bad situation for the author.
Don't get me wrong, there's plenty of time to fix plot holes in revisions. But knowing a general idea of where you're headed can really help the writing process, even if you are a pantser, like me. Giving yourself room to change and veer in another direction is fine, but take precaution not to paint yourself into a corner.
(Even if I'm not writing a mystery?)
Yes, Parenthetical Voice. Even if you're not writing a mystery.
So what about you? Are you a pantser or a plotter? Do you know you're endings ahead of time or just let them come to you? Tell us about your process in the comments!
(Hehehe . . . Pantser.)