When it comes to writing, the biggest debate is between pansters (seat of the pants writers) and plotters (those who do at least a scanty outline before they write). Even for those who don’t like to write an extensive outline, plotting techniques can be valuable. Even pantsers who don’t do any pre-planning can learn valuable techniques from plotting that will help them when they do rewrites and editing.
I am not a major plotter and used to be a panster. As I learned more about the structure of story, I learned to plan my major plot points to keep me out of trouble in the middle, but I’m not a major plotter. Here are 10 of my favorite books on plotting. Click the title to find where to buy it on Amazon.
Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell
This book is the Bible for learning about plot.
Super Structure by James Scott Bell
A must have book for learning about how a story is structured.
From the Inside Out by Susan May Warren
A great book on how to plot a story based on the character development.
Deep and Wide by Susan May Warren
More plotting techniques for planning a plotting a novel.
My Book Buddy by Susan May Warren
This is a workbook to use for plotting your novel.
Write Your Novel From the Middle by James Scott Bell
A great little book about plotting the middle of your novel first.
How to Write Your Novel Using the Snowflake Method by Randy Ingermanson
Many plotters love the Snowflake method, and this book tells you everything you need to know about it. This is a book for those who are into pre-planning the entire novel and isn’t for you if you have any panster tendencies.
Outlining Your Novel: Mapping Your Way to Success by K.M. Weiland
This book has excerpts from different authors about their plotting techniques.
Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland
This book has techniques you can use to outline your novel. It is more for plotters than pansters.
Writing the Hero’s Journey by Rob Parnell
This book teaches you to use the Hero’s Journey method of outlining. This works better for suspense, sci-fi, and fantasy than other genres.