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View Full Version : Not QUITE another plotter/pantser thread...



Captcha
08-05-2014, 07:26 PM
But close.

Is anyone aware of any surveys or studies that would relate different approaches to writing vis a vis publishing success, and/or different approaches in relation to different genres?

Like, for example, are more people who make a living from writing (or whatever other measure of success) pantsers or plotters?

Are more romance writers pansters and more mystery writers plotters? (or whatever other genres)

Anyone know of anything like that?

(I'm a mixed pantser/plotter, so I don't really have a dog in the fight, insofar as there IS a fight. I'm just curious).

shadowwalker
08-05-2014, 07:33 PM
I don't think it's possible to even make such a study. There are too many other variables involved in becoming a successful author - including defining "successful".

Captcha
08-05-2014, 07:50 PM
Well, I think you could make the study - you'd just have to be careful of the conclusions you drew from it.

And you're right, there are a lot of different definitions of "successful", but the study could just pick one and be clear about it.

KTC
08-05-2014, 07:54 PM
I don't think it's possible to even make such a study. There are too many other variables involved in becoming a successful author - including defining "successful".

I agree 100%. Even if you defined successful...it would be extremely hard to calculate such a thing.

heza
08-05-2014, 08:35 PM
Also, would you be looking at success on the basis of individual books or at the writers' careers on the whole? Because I'm not even sure every writer uses the same method for every book.

Once!
08-05-2014, 09:32 PM
And I would suspect that most writers are not either 100% pantser or 100% plotter. It's not even a sliding scale with pantser at one end and plotter at the other and we are all somewhere in between. It's much more complicated than that.

We might think that it would be great if there was an easy route to success. Say, a checklist where we could choose the most popular genre (check), pantser or plotter (check), prologue or no prologue (check), most popular POV (check), most effective cover (check). Chuck all that into a spreadsheet and out would come ... I don't know what. Harry Potter porn?

The problem with such an approach, even if it was possible or accurate, is that everyone would use it. And we would end up with lots of Hogwarts hanky-panky.

Captcha
08-05-2014, 11:34 PM
And I would suspect that most writers are not either 100% pantser or 100% plotter. It's not even a sliding scale with pantser at one end and plotter at the other and we are all somewhere in between. It's much more complicated than that.

We might think that it would be great if there was an easy route to success. Say, a checklist where we could choose the most popular genre (check), pantser or plotter (check), prologue or no prologue (check), most popular POV (check), most effective cover (check). Chuck all that into a spreadsheet and out would come ... I don't know what. Harry Potter porn?

The problem with such an approach, even if it was possible or accurate, is that everyone would use it. And we would end up with lots of Hogwarts hanky-panky.

Well, I disagree with most of that. I agree that there's probably a sliding scale of how much pantsing/plotting someone does. But I disagree that it would be that hard to show that in a survey. We're all familiar with the Never-Rarely-Sometimes-Usually-Always choices, right?

And the rest of your answer is just kind of... unrelated, I think?

The question I asked in the original post was whether anyone had seen such a survey. I'm going to just count all the responses so far as: nope, haven't seen one!

In terms of the other stuff being added to the responses - do you guys really not see a benefit to trying to get some actual DATA on all the advice we give around here every day?

I mean, in any thread on writing technique there are loads of people who chime in with "what works for them", and I'm not saying that's completely without value, but if we don't have some understanding of what "works" means in that context, I think the value of the advice is low.

"Works" may mean it allows the writer to write happily and express herself, even if she's never tried for publication (or has tried and not succeeded).

"Works" may mean it allows the writer to produce copious quantities of words, none of which are really put together in a publishable format but all of which, when piled up, make a truly impressive annual word count.

"Works" may mean it allows the writer to steadily, mechanically produce saleable writing that supports the author financially but provides no joy or excitement.

You get the idea. "It works for me" and "you've got to find what works for you" are reassuring and I think there's probably a time in most writers' careers when it's all they need to hear. But there are some pretty experienced writers on this site, and I hope they're always trying to improve and refine their technique.

I for one would love to see some actual studies that might add depth to my understanding of just how well different techniques "work" with "work" defined a bit more concretely.

But so far I guess I'm the only one! (So lonely!);)

Jamesaritchie
08-06-2014, 12:04 AM
I don't think such a study would be at all difficult. Sure, there may be other factors, but those other factors have nothing to do with merely learning how many successful writers use each method.

I know that, currently, eleven out of thirteen of my favorite writers do not outline. From basic data I've seen, it's roughly 65% overall.

I think what's more important is how your favorite writers go about it. I checked this out early on, and was delight to discover that almost every one of my favorite writers did not outline. I loved this because not outlining came naturally to me.

Jamesaritchie
08-06-2014, 12:11 AM
And I would suspect that most writers are not either 100% pantser or 100% plotter. It's not even a sliding scale with pantser at one end and plotter at the other and we are all somewhere in between. It's much more complicated than that.

We might think that it would be great if there was an easy route to success. Say, a checklist where we could choose the most popular genre (check), pantser or plotter (check), prologue or no prologue (check), most popular POV (check), most effective cover (check). Chuck all that into a spreadsheet and out would come ... I don't know what. Harry Potter porn?

The problem with such an approach, even if it was possible or accurate, is that everyone would use it. And we would end up with lots of Hogwarts hanky-panky.

Most of the successful writers I know either outline, or they don't. They are 100% in one camp or the other. It's not complicated at all. There may be fifty methods of outlining, but all of them, every last one, is still an outline, and something none of the pansters I know ever do.

Though I hate the word "panster". This word has to come from some writer who outlines because it's completely inaccurate in describing how most of the non-outliners I know write.

Some writers do, of course, find the road to success extremely easy, and a fair number of them do take all sorts of things into account before sitting down to write. A writer still needs talent, but writing is like any other business in that the more you know, the better your chances of succeeding.

There are writer who fail, or who delay their career by a lot of years, because they outline when they shouldn't be, or because they don't outline when they should be, or because they don't understand genre, or this, that, or the other.

buz
08-06-2014, 01:16 AM
We're all familiar with the Never-Rarely-Sometimes-Usually-Always choices, right?

I hate those choices. I find the answer is almost always more complicated than the phrasing of the question allows. ;)


I for one would love to see some actual studies that might add depth to my understanding of just how well different techniques "work" with "work" defined a bit more concretely.

But so far I guess I'm the only one! (So lonely!);)

Then create one...

Go research a bunch of authors you consider successful and figure out what they do.

Roxxsmom
08-06-2014, 01:18 AM
With so many people falling somewhere in the middle of the pantser to plotter continuum, collecting data of this sort would be hard, let alone making sense of it.

And of course, people mean very different things by the terms pantser and plotter as well. Does plotting simply mean thinking about a story and characters for a while before you start writing? Does it mean engaging in elaborate world building first? Does it mean outlining every aspect of your story meticulously, with scrivener notes (or a bulletin board with post it notes) detailing every scene? Or does sketching a rough outline on the back of a napkin during dinner count as plotting?

I don't think there's really any "battle" here, though. Writers write in whatever way works for them. Some people write books or give seminars on how to employ a particular method, but who would actually tell someone that they "have" to shoehorn their creativity into someone else's process in order to be a real writer? No one's tried to force me to outline anything since college (there, I learned how to write the paper first, then create an outline to give the teacher. At least classes that required outlines stopped me from waiting until the night before to write the thing).

As someone who falls closer to the pantser end of the continuum (trying to start with an outline shuts me down, though I find them helpful after I've vomited up a draft), my hunch is meticulous outliners have an advantage in terms of speed. If they have the kinds of minds that can conceive of a detailed story in advance, and not get sidetracked while writing it, then they probably can have something workable in fewer drafts. I, on the other hand, usually have to write a first draft, then rewrite it almost from scratch, to even know what my characters need to do. Then comes the process of revising and polishing. My file of cut scenes ends up being truly alarming.

But maybe pantsers get faster with practice too, because they get better at plopping down first drafts that are logical and internally consistent.

blacbird
08-06-2014, 01:26 AM
In addition to all the other variables, almost certainly these choices are going to vary by genre.

caw

Liosse de Velishaf
08-06-2014, 02:48 AM
Among YA and SFF writers I know of, there seems to be a pretty good spread. I'm basing this on reading a few hundred blogs posts/blogs where writers in these genres talked about their process.


I'd suspect more mystery writers are plotters, speaking of by-genre differences.

JustSarah
08-06-2014, 06:41 AM
Well here is the weird part. Most of my favorite writers wrote by the seat of their pants. Gibson had what he called "throwing everything into a hopper." Not really sure what that means. But I'll go with it.

Yet I'm as outliner as outlining comes.

shadowwalker
08-06-2014, 07:46 AM
The reason I bring up the other variables is because just because a "successful" author uses one method or the other doesn't mean the method is the cause of their success - or is even a factor. Maybe it was the genre; maybe the type of story (vampire versus zombie); extremely well-written versus just "good"; series versus one; niche versus mainstream... maybe it was just the right submission at the right time. So how on earth would such a study of method have any meaning anyway?

DancingMaenid
08-06-2014, 11:18 AM
Well, I disagree with most of that. I agree that there's probably a sliding scale of how much pantsing/plotting someone does. But I disagree that it would be that hard to show that in a survey. We're all familiar with the Never-Rarely-Sometimes-Usually-Always choices, right?


I think depending on how the questions are phrased, you might have some trouble with how people self-report.

For example, my instinct is to say that I don't outline, because I don't do any sort of formal or written outlining. But I do think about my ideas and figure out most of the story before I start to write. I usually have a pretty decent idea of where the story is headed and what scene is going to come next. So I guess that's a form of outlining, but since I associate outlining with specific methods that involve some sort of output, like writing out bullet points of what happens, I probably wouldn't call myself an outliner if I took a survey.

So I think a survey would have to define planning and pantsing.

mccardey
08-06-2014, 11:27 AM
I don't wanna be mean, but I think an awful lot of people who make a living out of writing work in advertising.

ETA: Sale Ends Thursday!

Captcha
08-06-2014, 03:24 PM
The reason I bring up the other variables is because just because a "successful" author uses one method or the other doesn't mean the method is the cause of their success - or is even a factor. Maybe it was the genre; maybe the type of story (vampire versus zombie); extremely well-written versus just "good"; series versus one; niche versus mainstream... maybe it was just the right submission at the right time. So how on earth would such a study of method have any meaning anyway?

Yeah, like I said, you'd have to be careful about what conclusions were drawn. But if, as an example, the results showed that 80% of whatever- meaning-of-successful mystery writers were plotters, and someone came to us and asked whether they need to be a plotter to write a good mystery, we could say, no... 20% of successful mystery writers writers aren't, so you don't NEED to be. But 80% are, so... you might want to give it a try.

Or if an aspiring mystery writer came to us and said they have a problem finishing manuscripts, they get 2/3 done and then just can't come up with an ending, we could say... well, maybe you need to try plotting. 80% of successful mystery writers do that.

You know?

I agree that there's no 100% guaranteed recipe for any sort of success, but I don't think that makes it impossible to analyse process a little bit, at least.

jeffo20
08-06-2014, 03:40 PM
No disrespect intended, but it feels to me like it's just another way of asking for a 'Magic Formula' to be a successful writer. I don't think there is one short of 'put your butt in the chair and write, then learn from your successes and failures.'

I realize this is not what you're asking for, but it sounds like it. I also don't think it can account for all those variables. Using your example, what if the 20% of non-plotting mystery writers account for 75% of the sales? Or occupy 60% of the best-seller list. Numbers and stats are great for certain things, but I don't think they're great for this sort of thing.

Kylabelle
08-06-2014, 03:49 PM
So, I read this as a suggestion that a loose survey be conducted, by someone, which would be clearly non-scientific and only indicative of some factors, and which those who want specifics and certainties could easily discard and others could mine for inspiration?

That's not the same as asking for a formula for success; it's more a curiosity about patterns in the field, IMO.

Captcha, is that close?

bearilou
08-06-2014, 04:00 PM
I'm with Captcha.

I don't want to know their formula for success. I just want to know which authors do and don't.

And similar to James upthread, I'd like to know if my favorite authors outline or not. Turns out, some do outline. It doesn't really show anything except that they do. And I do. And yay, connection!

Captcha
08-06-2014, 04:57 PM
So, I read this as a suggestion that a loose survey be conducted, by someone, which would be clearly non-scientific and only indicative of some factors, and which those who want specifics and certainties could easily discard and others could mine for inspiration?

That's not the same as asking for a formula for success; it's more a curiosity about patterns in the field, IMO.

Captcha, is that close?

Well, it's not a request that someone do a survey - I mean, it'd be great if someone would, but initially I was just hoping someone already HAD, and that somebody here could point me in that direction!

And I agree, pantser vs plotter is only one small aspect of writing, so even if there WERE conclusive results in a survey, it would hardly amount to a formula for success.

So, yeah, I'm asking about patterns in the field, or in several different fields maybe.

It's not just about pantsers vs. plotters, really, although that was the loose topic of the thread that inspired me to wonder about this. But I'd be interested in seeing ANY data, however sketchy, that goes beyond the individual opinions and anecdotes we're using right now.

I mean, I have a method of writing that "works" for me. I'm productive, my books sell, and I feel like I'm improving my craft as I go. But is my method perfect? Is there no room for improvement? I think there's lots of room.

Maybe that improvement has to come from laboriously trying everything out for myself, but if there were some way to increase my understanding of what's more or less likely to work, that'd be useful to me. That's all.

ash.y
08-06-2014, 10:50 PM
This isn't entirely what you're looking for, but I recently saw a study that explored which parts of the brain are activated in amateur and professional/expert writers.

http://sciencealert.com.au/features/20141107-25864.html

In summary: during the planning/prewriting stages, both groups used the visual processing regions of the brain, and while writing, the memory regions. But the pros ALSO used verbal regions and the caudate nucleus, which is tied to training and proficiency. (Pros use the verbal regions of the brain...perhaps they have stronger voices? Har har)

Perhaps our success is determined not so much by how we plan but by what happens when we put words on the page.

Captcha
08-06-2014, 11:32 PM
This isn't entirely what you're looking for, but I recently saw a study that explored which parts of the brain are activated in amateur and professional/expert writers.

http://sciencealert.com.au/features/20141107-25864.html

In summary: during the planning/prewriting stages, both groups used the visual processing regions of the brain, and while writing, the memory regions. But the pros ALSO used verbal regions and the caudate nucleus, which is tied to training and proficiency. (Pros use the verbal regions of the brain...perhaps they have stronger voices? Har har)

Perhaps our success is determined not so much by how we plan but by what happens when we put words on the page.


That's interesting! Thanks!

BethS
08-11-2014, 05:48 PM
You get the idea. "It works for me" and "you've got to find what works for you" are reassuring and I think there's probably a time in most writers' careers when it's all they need to hear. But there are some pretty experienced writers on this site, and I hope they're always trying to improve and refine their technique.

I for one would love to see some actual studies that might add depth to my understanding of just how well different techniques "work" with "work" defined a bit more concretely.



Well, first, from what I've seen, what "works" is generally defined as "the method that allows a writer to produce a finished manuscript." Part of learning to write is learning how to do just that, so the advice "do whatever works" is usually given in that context.

But that's a whole different thing from having success in the marketplace of book sales. Plotting and pantsing have nothing to do with that. They're only a means of production, not a barometer of success. So while it might be interesting to see where writers fall on the graph in that regard, it's not particularly useful information, ultimately. How one writes a book comes down to brain wiring. It's not a secret formula other writers can adopt at will, but even if they could, what does it have to do with being successful?

Captcha
08-11-2014, 06:56 PM
Well, first, from what I've seen, what "works" is generally defined as "the method that allows a writer to produce a finished manuscript." Part of learning to write is learning how to do just that, so the advice "do whatever works" is usually given in that context.

But that's a whole different thing from having success in the marketplace of book sales. Plotting and pantsing have nothing to do with that. They're only a means of production, not a barometer of success. So while it might be interesting to see where writers fall on the graph in that regard, it's not particularly useful information, ultimately. How one writes a book comes down to brain wiring. It's not a secret formula other writers can adopt at will, but even if they could, what does it have to do with being successful?

Well, I think there's a difference between producing a finished manuscript and producing a finished manuscript of quality that would allow publication. A pretty huge difference.

And I'm not sure whether plotting and pantsing do or do not have a relationship to the quality of the finished product. I mean, one of the major problems I see in beginner MSs is that they have poor pacing, or poor structure, scenes that wander around without accomplishing anything, jumps in narrative that don't make sense... and I wonder if these issues could be addressed by more attention to structure, and I wonder if that attention might not come via some form of being a plotter.

Really, your whole second paragraph, to me, seems like a list of unsupported assertions. They may be right. MAYBE there's no relationship between writing process and ultimate success. MAYBE writing technique is based on 'brain-wiring' and MAYBE it's unchangeable.

But maybe not. What I was hoping to find was some actual evidence, even if it wasn't conclusive, that would help to support or challenge one of these assertions. Personally, I'd love to see evidence that would support or challenge ANY of them.

Conventional wisdom can be really useful, but it can also distort reality. I think it would be cool if we had another lens to look through, one that would give us a different perspective.

I'm honestly surprised that so many people think that would be a waste of time.

shadowwalker
08-11-2014, 07:06 PM
I'm honestly surprised that so many people think that would be a waste of time.

I think it would be a waste because of all the other variables I already mentioned. Becoming a successful author is such a combination of things, trying to pinpoint any one thing as something one "should" do is futile. And when one looks at the huge variety of methods within each "plotter"/"pantser" method - there's just no way.

Once!
08-11-2014, 07:42 PM
Well, I disagree with most of that. I agree that there's probably a sliding scale of how much pantsing/plotting someone does. But I disagree that it would be that hard to show that in a survey. We're all familiar with the Never-Rarely-Sometimes-Usually-Always choices, right?

And the rest of your answer is just kind of... unrelated, I think?

Okay, so let's design your survey. Let's say you have one question: "Do you write an outline for your novels?", then you have five choices - "Never, rarely, sometimes, usually, always." That's simple enough.

I receive this survey. And straight away I have a problem in responding to it. I outline some parts of my writing, but not others. And what counts as outlining or pantsing? Do a few scribbled post-its count as outlining? A rough idea in my head but not written down? If I write down plot notes but not character notes, does that count as outlining?

Then we have the problem that we don't always use the same technique for each book. Sometimes I often have a rough outline in my head, than I pants for a while, then I find how it all ends and start outlining to the finishing line. Other times I will have a pretty strong outline from the very beginning. My current WIP is almost all pantsing.

In other words, it's not a binary choice - pantsing or outlining. It's not a sliding scale. I can't say whether I am a 30% outliner or a 60% of whatever.

So how do I answer your question? I probably have to tick the middle box - "sometimes". And I suspect that many people would choose the same option.

So sure you could design your survey. Anything is possible. But I'm not sure how meaningful your answer would be.

As to the rest of my post which you found "unrelated", after we have dealt with the practicalities of such a survey I have to wonder about its usefulness or why you would want to do it in the first place.

What would happen if we applied the same kind of thinking to other factors that might influence whether an author or a book is successful? Then we could end up with a median result that was neither fish nor fowl - hence Harry Potter porn.

As plenty of others have said - there are lots of variables and it's not clear what such a survey would show.

Captcha
08-11-2014, 08:00 PM
Okay, yup, you're all right!

If this survey was to be done, it would only have a single question. And there would be no explanation of terms included, and no room for comments. There would be no way to look for trends or interesting correlations; we would be limited to the most simplistic analysis.

And because writing is a complex process, there's no point in trying to understand it. And if we ever WERE able to gain any insight into the utility of different techniques for different people, we'd all turn into robots churning out Harry Potter porn for the masses, regardless of our personal interests or abilities.

Damn. That would suck. I'm GLAD we don't try to gather data on all this. Information is dangerous!

shadowwalker
08-11-2014, 08:13 PM
Damn. That would suck. I'm GLAD we don't try to gather data on all this. Information is dangerous!

It would be nice if you could actually address the things brought up, and how you think one could deal with those issues, instead of resorting to sarcasm.

Patrick.S
08-11-2014, 08:17 PM
My question is what would you do with the data once you have it? Lets say that you can come up with a conclusive study that says 60% of "successful" authors pants.

Would you change the way that you write?

Would you advise others to pants rather than plot?

Wouldn't that be really bad advice, ignoring the loads of uber-successful authors who have gotten there by plotting?

I feel like this is one place where we just don't need another study. The writing process is so closely tied to how our brains work and it's never going to work the same for everyone.

Captcha
08-11-2014, 08:37 PM
My question is what would you do with the data once you have it? Lets say that you can come up with a conclusive study that says 60% of "successful" authors pants.

Would you change the way that you write?

Would you advise others to pants rather than plot?

Wouldn't that be really bad advice, ignoring the loads of uber-successful authors who have gotten there by plotting?

I feel like this is one place where we just don't need another study. The writing process is so closely tied to how our brains work and it's never going to work the same for everyone.

Well, it would depend what the results showed, obviously, but yeah, I might change the way I write. And, yeah, I might point others in the direction of the survey, or tell them the results of it.

If the data showed that 60% of writers at the level to which I aspire pantsed, I'm not sure that would change anything for me. But if I saw data that showed that 90% of mystery writers plotted, and I was planning to write a mystery, I might decide to try plotting. This doesn't discount the experiences of the 10% who don't plot, but it helps me understand a more LIKELY path to success.

And if I tried it, and gave it a GOOD try, like I really tried to change my writing technique but couldn't, then, whatever, it doesn't work for me.

I guess most people are coming at this from a perspective that their writing technique is fixed. And I'm coming at it from the perspective that my technique is NOT fixed. I've tried a variety of approaches, and had varying levels of success with them. I'm doing okay, but I'd like to improve.

From where I am right now, I don't see any alternative but to keep exploring and trying EVERYTHING myself, without any real direction. And doing a sincere exploration, giving a new technique an honest try, takes a long time. Like, probably multiple novels to feel that I'd given myself a chance to adjust to the new technique and really work on it. So if I could base my experiments on other people's experience, that would be great, to save me some time.

But I want to be sure that their experiences are relevant to mine, and I don't think sharing anecdotes is the best way to do this. At best, I'd be getting an overview of a very small segment of the population, and I'm sure there would be some selection biases, etc. I would prefer to use information that had been gathered a bit more methodically.

If writing style really IS fixed and unchangeable, then, yeah, any such efforts are pointless. But I'm not convinced that it is.


I'm intrigued by the "another study" line - does that mean that there HAVE been studies, and if so could you point me in their direction?

Patrick.S
08-11-2014, 09:08 PM
I guess most people are coming at this from a perspective that their writing technique is fixed. And I'm coming at it from the perspective that my technique is NOT fixed. I've tried a variety of approaches, and had varying levels of success with them. I'm doing okay, but I'd like to improve.



:ROFL: This line cracked me up. For some reason I keep on telling myself that I'm a plotter, but so far every time I've plotted out a MS it's failed. My finished novel I pantsed and the one I am working on right now is turning out that way too. I like lists and organization but it doesn't seem to key in with my creative side. Not to say that the next novel won't be different.

As far as the "other studies" I was referring to, I more meant the umpteen studies that come out every day that are either about how many fish in Michigan require corrective lenses, or tell me something that is complete common sense, like after exhaustive testing, butter has fat in it.

BethS
08-11-2014, 10:21 PM
Well, I think there's a difference between producing a finished manuscript and producing a finished manuscript of quality that would allow publication. A pretty huge difference.

Of course. But the quality of the manuscript has nothing to do with how it's produced, in that good writers of both types (outliners and pantsers) can and do produce quality manuscripts.


And I'm not sure whether plotting and pantsing do or do not have a relationship to the quality of the finished product. I mean, one of the major problems I see in beginner MSs is that they have poor pacing, or poor structure, scenes that wander around without accomplishing anything, jumps in narrative that don't make sense... and I wonder if these issues could be addressed by more attention to structure, and I wonder if that attention might not come via some form of being a plotter.
Personally, I don't think that has anything to do with it. A lot of learning writers seem to flounder with pacing and structure (and other things) whether they outline or attempt to write organically.


But maybe not. What I was hoping to find was some actual evidence, even if it wasn't conclusive, that would help to support or challenge one of these assertions. Personally, I'd love to see evidence that would support or challenge ANY of them.
Well, there are successful published authors out there who are pantsers. And there are those who outline. And there are those who do some amalgamation of the two.

I know this because authors often like to talk about their process.

So I don't know what that tells you, but it tells me that the method of writing has little to do with how successful a book is.

As for brain wiring, I know for a fact that I must have been born being able to write as a "pantser" because no one taught me to do it. In fact, the writing books I read pushed outlining and preplanning. But I tried that and it didn't work. So I don't do any of that. I write completely organically, and I've never had difficulty with pacing and structure, or with aimless narrative or scenes that go nowhere. (I have had other challenges, certainly, but not those.) I know, on some deep, unconscious level, how to tell a story. And if that's not brain wiring, I don't know what is.

Liosse de Velishaf
08-11-2014, 11:34 PM
From being online in writer's communities of both pros and amateurs for maybe ten years, I think the major benefit of such a survey would be to reassure people that either method works and they don't have to radically change their writing style to be successful. I see tons of people every year spending way more time worrying about writing "correctly" than actually writing, and I think some hard data that shows there are many successful methods could save people a lot of time and stress.

Buffysquirrel
08-12-2014, 06:46 PM
If a writer can't plot, they can't write an outline, either.

JustSarah
08-12-2014, 07:12 PM
Personally, I think even a sliding scale chart would be beneficial in knowing. I don't think anyone would reasonably expect a yes or no.

As far as whether should, that depends on what you consider outlining or plotting. There are many ways one can plot.

For me that varies between short fiction or novella form.

jaksen
08-14-2014, 02:18 AM
I think such a survey is trying to quantify something that just doesn't allow itself to be so. Too many variables. Just too ... many ... darn ... variables.

And I come from a science background.