Sticky Notes vs. My Mind

By Molly Miller

I always knew that I wanted to be a writer, ever since I was a little girl I have been writing stories to entertain anyone who would read them. I have recently discovered that there are two different types of writers, plotters and pantsers. However, it seems to me that most writers are not strictly one or the other, but rather a mixture of both. I would definitely classify myself in this way, but I tend to lean more towards the pantser end of the scale. For the most part I like to just sit down and start writing; however, I can’t help myself from thinking ahead and plotting what I’m going to have happen next.
I started writing novels in my freshman year of high school. At this point I have completed 3 novels and started numerous others. People are constantly asking me how I can write these stories, where I get my ideas and get everything to work. The honest answer is that they just come to me. An idea can be sparked from a dream, a movie, or even a tidbit from a random conversation.  As soon as an idea comes to me I write it down on whatever I can find. My purse is constantly filled with ideas scribbled out on little scraps of paper, sticky notes, and even old receipts. Every time I clean out my purse and organize the papers I think of J.K. Rowling and how she started writing Harry Potter on napkins.

Although I mostly consider myself a pantser, some of these ideas that I just have to write down and stuff into my purse are future scenes for stories that are already in progress. This would fall under the category of plotting so I guess I really am a combination of the two. Maybe if I was more of a plotter then more of my stories would be complete. I have a tendency to be able to start them but I always get stuck and stop or simply get another idea and move on with it before finishing the first story.

However, as the years have progressed I would have to say that while I am still mostly a pantser, I have started to plot my ideas out before writing. Most of this plotting simply takes place in my head but with the novel that I am currently writing, there are all sorts of little notes written at the bottom of the page so that I do not forget them as I write. It is actually kind of fascinating to me that I am not more of a plotter because I literally write down everything on sticky notes. Rather than using a calendar I just write down lists and reminders on sticky notes and place them all around my room and on my laptop so that I am sure to see them. 

                I guess I really should make a full hearted attempt at plotting. Just to see how it affects my writing and if I am able to actually complete something that I start, although I am feeling pretty confident about what I am writing at the moment. Maybe next time. 


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