4 Writer Types: Which Writer Are You?

I found this video on YouTube, The 4 Types of Novel Writers, which gives some insights into what kind of writer you might be and how you can take advantage of writing advice based on which type of writer you fall into.

I’ll just paraphrase what the lady said in the video just to add some context. In this video, there are two metrics involved in figuring out what type of writer you are:

  1. The pantser —> plotter metric.
  2. The methodological —> intuitive writer metric.

Based on these two metrics, there are 4 types of writers:

  1. Intuitive pantser
  2. Intuitive plotter
  3. Methodological plotter
  4. Methodological pantser

[Note: The 4th type of writer, the methodological pantser, sounds like an oxymoron, but it totally describes me as a writer, since I have to see my story on the page for me to be able to do anything about it. Hence, my writing process is chaotic and messy and would drive more organized writers crazy!]

Anyway, based on that video, which of the 4 writer types are you? Does your writing process match any of the writing processes described for one or more of the 4 writer types? Are there any challenges you face when you apply writing advice to your way of getting the story written? Thoughts, anyone?

:raised_hands:
Same here, I’m a methodological pantser. It’s mad chaotic to edit that mess afterward.

I admire anyone who plots their novels. That seems like such a good idea.
But I still refuse to plot anything. :weary:

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Is that by choice? Or are you just naturally inclined to write that way? I find that if I plot things out for my story before I start writing it, I lose interest in it, b/c the novelty of the story loses steam. You know what I’m saying? It’s like, I need that sense of discovery and novelty for me to continue writing it.

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I relate to this entirely tbh. Planning things out too meticulously defeats the point of even writing the story to me, in the end, because if I’m not as intrigued as a potential reader would be because I already know all the answers, I’m like “meh” and put the story aside, never to be touched again.

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:arrow_up:

I completely get what you’re saying, exactly! If I plot at all, my inspiration and interest literally disappear. Discovering the plot/characters is what keeps me going. So, it’s probably just by choice.

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honestly. I would say based on the video, I’m somewhere between a methodological plotter, and an intuitive plotter.

I am 100% NOT a pantser, so props to you guys :rofl:

However, I’m not entirely a plotter either, even though there are a lot of things I do plan beforehand. I love to go all out plotting my characters before any kind of writing. I give them a full name, sometimes an age (if it’s appropriate), if they’re a different species etc etc. If they’re a main protagonist, I will break down their backstory as much as possible. The same with the main antagonist (if the main antagonist is a person or a force). Then, for side characters I pick out key points in their backstory.

I don’t follow any kind of story structure. The only thing I plot out is the inciting incident (basically the part where my character realises they’re in for shit), and then I love a good plot twist so I will normally plan out the basics of my character’s journey and the plot twist. I normally have an idea of the ending, but it’s nothing set in stone.

The reason I’m not entirely either, is because when it comes to character development, I am methological. I like to keep note of all characters that will come up in the story, their current and future relationships, morals, ambitions etc.

But, when it comes to story outline, I keep it very vague. I kind of follow my intuition and let my characters lead the way. Which is why I like to get to know my characters as much as I can before I write. I don’t do any kind of scene planning or anything like that.

And I guess you can tell I’m somewhat a plotter because of the size of my response compared to everyone elses. Hope y’all enjoyed my life story :rofl:

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That’s happened to me in some of my earlier works. Since I figured it out beforehand, the will to write them just evaporates. I do find plotting and the structure of stories really fascinating, though, especially those stories that don’t follow a linear narrative progression, like Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko and Beloved by Toni Morrison and Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut. These kinds of stories jump around, which totally describes my writing method of jumping around from scene to scene and POV to POV and writing and editing, which can drive a few writers nuts.

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I am definitely an Intuitive Panster! While I’m writing, I may write down ideas or connect something in my brain for later, but that always ruins things for me too. In the end, that even changes. My series was put on hold for a couple of years because I started to plan things out, and then all interests went down hill, I took it off Wattpad and just stopped thinking about it. I recently just published them again and editing them. I am determined not to plan again, or even think about book 3 and 4 in depth.

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Does that also inform the way your stories come out? Like, for instance, my stories tend to jump all over the place from POV to POV and from scene to scene. I tend to like stories that meander and jump around like that.

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Upon watching the video you shared, I am of course a pantser, but I think I fall sort of between the methodological and intuitive type (although maybe a bit more intuitive I think). I get bored easily and find too much structure and planning cramps my style and makes me dislike writing; I like to have freedom and look at writing not as a scientific or logical thing (even though, of course I want my stories to have internal logic that makes sense), but I think my writing just naturally finds a structure I guess. Sometimes I have to remind myself to be a bit artsier or creative with some of my word choice or style, though. But maybe a lot of it is due to the fact that I’m used to doing academic writing and not so much creative writing (less so recently because I’m trying to make writing stories a habit now that I’m an adult and have time).

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That totally happened to me. I’m just barely coming out of it now!

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This is so interesting!

I think I started off trying to do intuitive pantsing, but I quickly learned that I can’t make beautiful first drafts that way. I’m definitely intuitive still, but closer to the plotting side. Intuitive plotter? I don’t like to create outlines or ever plot out chapters, but I do like to think about general plot direction and where their choices will take them in the big picture. Most relationship changes, character development dialogue, scene specifics, and action are up in the air until the writing process though. Which means I pour a lot of time and effort into editing and rearranging before any chapter ever sees the orange light of WP.

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am I the only plotter here :joy::sob:

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I completely pantsed my first novel. it’s still on wattpad, and i got through it, but by God it is terrible :joy: and I had to plot a lot of stuff before I could even attempt to edit it because I had no idea where it was going, I can’t keep everything in my head. I need to plot! haha. it’s now taking me forever to edit because of how bad it is. I don’t know how you guys can do it :sob:

I’m with you on planning out the characters, though depending what happens in the story, my character profiles can change drastically, which I welcome. I don’t break down their backstories, though; it’s more like, you know, discovering bits and pieces of backstory as the story progresses.

And that’s actually very close what I do in my writing process. I let the characters decide where the plot goes, but I tend to feel them out, first, which is why I tend to write the first few chapters by the seat of my pants, so that I have writing on the page for me to work with. That’s because of the pantser in me: I need to write things down in order for me to get the wheels of the story to turn in my mind.

And, also, you can tell that I’m a methodological pantser, b/c I tend to write my responses in response to the structure of someone else’s response. Just not as detailed. And I did, thank you!

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Pretty much. I’m alright at keeping to my story’s original plot, but instead of changing POVs or jumping from scenes, I add a bunch of random new characters without any foreshadowing, and often forget some characters even existed. (’:

So, that just muddles everything up instead.

But I enjoy the madness in reading those types of stories too.

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Ah, yes. You observations remind me of the maxim:

Concentrate one what you’re writing, not on what you’re planning to write.

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I need to plan out a beginning too. I don’t plan out the entirity of the first chapter, but I definitely plan out the beginning scene.

But yeah, my characters are my babies, I know pretty much everything about them before I even think about writing my story :joy: of course, new things might come out during the story, it has happened to me before, but most of the time I know all there is to know about my characters.

I’m definitely closest to a methodological pantser. I need to have some parts of the story sketched out in my head, but if I plot anything too finely, I start to a) lose interest and b) feel like the characters aren’t acting normally because I’m forcing them to do things that doesn’t come quite naturally.

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I feel you on B. That’s why I like to try and get to know my characters as opposed to my plot, and then let them figure it out on their own :joy:

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