Friday, May 29, 2015

Andrea Cooper stops by Penny's Tales and talks about Plotting

To Plot or Not to Plot

There is a war going on. A battle across the world… and in the minds of many authors.
Plotter vs. Pantser
Plotter – someone who outlines, makes notes, plans before writing a sentence of their story.
Pantser – someone who writes either part or all of a story without prior outlining, plotting, etc.
Which are you?
Each type has pros and cons. I’m a pantser, and if I ever plot, it’s only character arcs, not story arcs or outlines. Why?
Here’s one time experience as a plotter:
After writing over a dozen stories and having half a dozen in various stages, I thought perhaps if I plotted, the stories would be easier and quicker to write. So I created an outline, a chapter outline, and completed various character sketches, etc. But after writing the first chapter, I wanted to smack my head on my keyboard.
I deviated from the outline so much and for the better, that it was as if I wrote a completely different book. For example, I had the heroine leaving the archeological site in Turkey around chapter two. However, when I wrote chapter one, I realized, why am I flying her back to the states so soon? The story is set in this wonderful, exotic country and I’m having her hop back on a plane? No.
For me, plotting didn’t work. I may try a combo-method where I would do character arc, mindmapping, etc. Write the story, then either if I reach a sagging middle, follow up with more of the plotting techniques—but have flexibility.
In contrast, my friend and a fellow author who plots everything. Before she writes a word, she even has breakdowns of each chapter. Reading through her outlines, she can spot plot holes, sagging middles, etc. She fixes them and then writes.
I say do whatever works for you and your writing.
Here are some websites for pantsers and plotters:

Andrea R. Cooper’s Bio:
Andrea has always created characters and stories. But it wasn't until she was in her late twenties that she started writing novels.
What happened that ignited the writing flame in her fingers? Divorced, and disillusioned by love songs and stories. They exaggerate. She thought. Love and Romance are not like that in the real world. Then she met her husband and realized, yes love and romance are exactly like the songs and stories say. She is now a happy wife, and a mom to three kids (two boys and a girl).
Andrea writes fantasy, paranormal, historical, and contemporary romance suspense. When not writing or reading, one may find Andrea dancing in Zumba.
She believes in the power of change and counting each moment as a blessing. But most importantly, she believes in love.

Her latest novel is Stolen Hearts Book 1 : Romantic Suspense
Crystal has spent her entire life training to be a thief in order to find evidence against the man who had her parents murdered. In her pursuit of justice she's had to give up her identity, her name, and any chance at love. When Crystal is forced on a blind date with the cop who is investigating her, she plays a dangerous game of hearts that could land her in a prison cell. 

Kade is in search of a new life, after losing his partner. He's taken a new job, in a new city, and met a new girl. In order to keep his fresh start, he will have to catch an elusive thief targeting one of the largest corporations in the country. Desperate to forget the failures of his past, Kade has no intention of failing.

But secrets can’t be hidden forever.

Amazon: Buy Link:

Stolen Hearts Book Trailer:

Author Website:


  1. Morning all! Andrea - this is a great post! And, of course, your book sounds wonderful