Category Archives: Quiz

Guest Post–Writer: Are You A Plotter or Pantser? Take This Quiz Now! by Writer’s Relief

Standard

This article has been reprinted with the permission of Writer’s Relief, a highly recommended author’s submission service. We assist writers with preparing their submissions and researching the best markets. We have a service for every budget, as well as a free e-publication for writers, Submit Write Now! Visit our site today to learn more.

WR-Plotter-or-Pantser-shutterstock_277352165v3

There is no right or wrong way to write a novel. But there are two main writing strategies authors often use when writing a book—and they both have funny names. Are you a “plotter” or a “pantser”? Not sure? Writer’s Relief offers you the definition of each, along with a quick quiz you can take now to help you decide which writing style works best for you.

Are You A Plotter?

Plotters outline their stories before writing them. (More on how to outline here.) They know all the details—characters, plot, subplots, climax, and resolution—before they write a single word. This prewriting strategy means more work up front, but less chance of developing writer’s block during the process, because plotters know exactly where they’re going. They have a handy map to lead them to their destination and keep them on course. Plotters tend to write more efficiently and finish novels more quickly than pantsers.

But before you decide that this is the way to go, hold on: There are some cons to being a plotter. For instance, if a plotter wants to change the outline, this generally involves changes to other chapters. Reconfiguring an outline is often more daunting than creating one from scratch, as each chapter may be affected by a change that happens in one. Also, because less creativity is involved in the writing process, it can start to feel more like a chore and become mundane. Let’s face it, planning every detail of anything—whether it’s a vacation or a novel—doesn’t leave much room for misadventure or happy accidents.

John Grisham and J.K. Rowling are plotters. Grisham feels that the more time he spends on an outline, the easier the book is to write. Rowling confesses that she uses a basic plot outline but fills in along the way, which sounds a lot like a “plantser,” the hybrid love child of a plotter and a pantser. Check out one of Rowling’s detailed spreadsheets here. It should come as no surprise that it is handwritten, since it’s rumored that she has used napkins, an airplane sick bag, and once even a dress to write the Harry Potter series.

Other plotters include R.L. Stine, Dan Brown, and the fantasy author Brandon Sanderson.

Are You A Pantser?

Pantsers are considered the free-spirited artists of the writing world because they tend to fly by the seat of their pants when crafting a story (hence the moniker “pants-er”). They let their characters establish themselves and allow the plot to unfold on its own. It’s less work up front, but more during the actual writing process. And though pantsers may have a vague idea about direction, they’re not interested in following a map. As a result, any twists and turns in the story feel more natural because they were not planned.

Sounds way more creative, fun, and adventurous, right? Who wouldn’t want to be a pantser? Well, creative freedom doesn’t come without a cost: Pantsers are more likely to fall victim to writer’s block. (Check out these 3-word prompts to break through writer’s block.) When they get stuck, some pantsers simply move on to another project, leaving behind an unfinished story or novel. They tend to have a computer full of works in progress. But this doesn’t mean they aren’t—or can’t become—successful writers.

Stephen King is a fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants kind of writer. That’s right, he’s a pantser! In his book On Writing, he argues that he can tell which books have been outlined because they feel somewhat stale.

Margaret Atwood is also a pantser and compares creating a story using the structure of an outline to paint-by-numbers.

And this may be a little surprising, but George R.R. Martin is another pantser.

A Plotter, A Pantser, Or Somewhere In Between? Take This Quiz And Find Out!

True or False:

  1. When planning a trip, I always make sure to have a tour guide.
  2. On the shelves of my personal library, the books are methodically organized.
  3. I always make a grocery list before shopping.
  4. I panic when I get lost.
  5. When going out to eat at a specific restaurant, I research the menu online beforehand.
  6. My sock drawer is categorized by color.
  7. I have my clothes for work laid out and ready to go the night before.
  8. I MapQuest everything including my trips out to the backyard shed.
  9. The sheets in my linen closet (even the fitted ones) look like they have been meticulously folded by Martha Stewart.
  10. The inside of my car is free of clothing, books, sports gear, fast-food wrappers, crushed soda cans, and empty Starbucks coffee cups.

If you answered TRUE to 6 or more questions, you are a born plotter.

If you answered TRUE to 4 or fewer, it looks like you may be a pantser.

Have exactly 5 TRUES? Guess what? You are a little of both—also known as a plantser. This method is widely used by many writers who understand the advantages of plotting out a novel while also giving the characters free will.

Quiz: Are You 65+ Years Old And Cool?

Standard
Quiz: Are You 65+ Years Old And Cool?

Are you one of the cool seniors, or are you lame regardless of your mobility status? Answer these questions truthfully and total your score to discover your coolness quotient.

  1. How many grandchildren do you have?
    1. Heck, I don’t even have kids!
    2. Maybe someday.
    3. One.
    4. Two or more.
  2. How many of these musicians are you familiar with: Jonas Brothers, Ariana Grande, Ed Sheeran, Panic! At the Disco, Drake, Khalid, Tool, Skillet, Post Malone, BTS?
    1. Zero to three.
    2. Four or five.
    3. Six or seven.
    4. Eight to ten.
  3. How many of these superheroes are you familiar with: Green Lantern, Flash, Thor, Hulk, Captain America, Wolverine, Superman, Iron Man, Spiderman, Batman?
    1. Zero.
    2. One to five.
    3. Six or seven.
    4. Eight to ten.
  4. How do you watch movies?
    1. On VHS.
    2. On network television.
    3. I rent DVDs from Red Box, borrow them from the library, or buy them.
    4. I stream them (Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc.) or go to the movie theater.
  5. Do you have an iPhone?
    1. I only have a land line.
    2. I have a flip phone, a Jitterbug, a Blackberry, or some other non-smart phone.
    3. I have a Pixel, a Moto, a Nokia, an LG, an Android, or some other non-Apple phone.
    4. Yes.
  6. What year was your car made?
    1. I don’t have a car.
    2. Before 2000.
    3. 2000-2018.
    4. 2019-2020.
  7. How do you connect with your friends?
    1. Snail mail.
    2. Text, email, or social media.
    3. Telephone, FaceTime, or Skype.
    4. In person.
  8. Do you know all the restaurants with senior discounts and only go there during those designated days and times?
    1. I prefer to eat at home.
    2. Of course. I tip based on the discount price.
    3. Of course. But I tip based on the full-amount price.
    4. No, I go when I can pay full-price.
  9. What time do you go to bed?
    1. 8:00.
    2. 9:00.
    3. 10:00.
    4. 11:00.
  10. What would you like people to remember about you?
    1. To stay the heck off my lawn.
    2. That I made lots of money.
    3. That I have lots of friends.
    4. That I am kind and generous.

alex-harvey-34864

How to Score

Question If you answered: Give yourself: Rationale
1 a or b 3 points Even though it’s cooler to have grandkids, if you don’t, it’s not your fault.
c or d 4 points Super cool!
2 a 1 point Pathetic.
b 2 points Not bad.
c 3 points Pretty cool.
d 4 points Super cool!
3 a 4 points Obviously, you have better uses for your time.
b 1 point A little bit cool.
c 2 points A little more cool.
d 3 points Very cool (in some circles).
4 a 1 point You get one point because your VCR is still working.
b 1 point Super old-school.
c 3 points A little bit old-school.
d 4 points This is what the cool people do.
5 a 1 point You are invited to join the 21st century.
b 2 points You are also invited to join the 21st century.
c 3 points Pretty cool.
d 4 points Super cool.
6 a 4 points At your age, not driving but using public transportation could be the sexiest alternative.
b 3 points There are some way cool classic cars in that range.
c 2 points Boring.
d 4 points Super cool.
7 a 3 points Thank you for keeping letter-writing from being a lost art.
b 3 points Way to be tech-savvy.
c 3 points There’s something special about a human voice.
d 4 points Coolest of all.
8 a 3 points There are health and financial benefits to eating at home.
b 1 point Too cheap to be cool.
c 4 points Super cool!
d 1 point Why would you do that?
9 a, b, c, or d, if you get less than 8 hours of sleep 1 point You’re not getting optimum rest.
a, b, c, or d, if you get at least 8 hours of sleep 4 points Well-rested is super cool.
10 a 1 point Not cool.
b 1 point Cool people don’t care about that.
c 3 points Being friendly is cool.
d 4 points If it’s true, that’s super cool.

What Your Score Reveals About Your Coolness Quotient 

Score What it means:
1-15 Dude, you’re just not trying.
16-23 You’re sort of cool.
24-31 You’re cooler than most.
32-40 You’re beyond cool—you’re awesome!

Now it’s your turn. Did you learn something new about yourself? Are there other criteria for coolness that you would take into account? Share in the comments below.

If you enjoyed taking this quiz, please make my day by clicking the “Like” button and by sharing on all your social media. Thanks!