DRUNK DEBATE: Plotter vs. Pantser

A while back, an author friend of mine and I were on Facebook chatting about being a plotter versus a pantser.

(This is the post I lost. Found it! Sorry about that Brazil nonsense.)

She was the pantser, of course because I tend to think about an outline for my story, putting together notes for a beginning, a middle, and an end, and get it all together before I start writing my story in any meaningful way. Pantsers, I believe, don’t do that.


As we chatted, we thought it would be interesting to do a “pros and cons” kind of point/ counterpoint blog posts on our respective blogs. She’d talk about pantsing on her blog and link to mine for the counterpoints, and I’d talk about plotting and link to hers for the rebuttal.


Fun, writer-style.


For some reason, that point counterpoint never happened, but it’s always been in the back of my mind that we should do it, or maybe do a joint blog post discussing both sides.


Time moved on, and I was BSing with her again and we mentioned the plotter/pantser controversy again. She said, “You know, we should do that some time.” One of us – I don’t know who – made a comment along the lines of “You know what? We should just get drunk and do it live on Twitter or Facebook and see what happens. Maybe it will be funnier that way.”


Now, the reason why mentioned drinking is because if you chat with somebody on Facebook enough, every once in a while they’re going to have had a few at happy hour or something when you start up your chat.


You will notice they are much more likely to laugh or make typos. It’s a lot funnier for the person not drinking to mess with them at that point. People tend to laugh much more easily when they’ve had a few.


As we were chatting, we decided we would need a referee for our Drunk Debate. And since I chat with a lot of author friends online, I knew just the right person to rope into the conversation.


And so it was set up after much hesitation to actually have the Drug Debate. A three-party Facebook chat, where me and my other friend would do the point/counterpoint and our third friend would referee. We set a time and made up basic rules: we’d have 1 drink before we started, and 1 or 2 while we debated.


We are not exactly sure why we needed a referee, really, but one of us must have thought it might be a good idea – if we were both drinking – that somebody keep us on track. Somewhere along the line, that became all three of us would be drinking, and of course that meant no one would keep anyone on track.


As a result, at the scheduled day and time, we were all in fact on Facebook and having a chat and drinking. And also as a result, thanks to the alcohol, very little chatting about the topic got done. I think we were talking for 35 or 40 minutes before we even brought it up. We hired the wrong referee.


Anyway, we had a great time. LOTS of laughing.


And when we looked over what we had typed to each other, in order to see if it would in fact still be funny the next day and make for a good blog post, something I had suspected turned out to be true. That is, stuff that is funny in the moment when you’re drinking, often isn’t quite so funny the next day for people who weren’t there. So, no Drunk Debate blog post, just a fun memory with two adventurous friends who would probably do it again.


One of the things we did think of was that it might be really fun/funny to have this chat live. Sober, but with real live writers and authors talking about author-y stuff. One thing, there would be a lot fewer typos, probably.


Also, you can do Google On Air and have three or 10 or 20 people all chatting like a TV show panel. It could actually turn into a social media must-see event, with two or three recurring hosts, and different participating authors, to discuss a topic.


And that is where you come in.


I still think it would be a lot of fun to get a couple of authors together from the safety and comfort of their own homes, and have a video chat that we can then air on our respective blogs.


One thing for sure, our new super blog would definitely benefit from that. Your fans love to hear your insights, love your personality, and frankly want to know little more about you. People like Jenny Bravo are constantly videoing, but of course she’s bubbly and photogenic, so it helps.


It would work like this. We pick a topic, we set a 10 or 15 minute time limit, we make a few notes ahead of time, (we probably do not drink), and then we just have at it.


Already sounds fun, doesn’t it?


Typically when a TV talk shows air, they do a few test shows first to get the kinks ironed out. I would recommend that, too, so the first couple of video chats would really be just to get the forum down and the mechanics right.


But on the hopes that it works well, this would be a standing invitation for like Wednesdays at 8 o’clock or Tuesday morning at 10 AM or whatever, to have a chat with authors, to promote yourself and your intellect etc. etc. as well as have something that you could share. My hope is that it will also be interesting and hopefully funny, so that, well… let’s face it, the funnier it is, the more likely people are going to share and enjoy it.


In my experience, education mixed with entertainment is much more memorable and shareable then education on its own.

To allay your fears (or underscore them) I have provided THREE videos of me.

  1. The first is “Long QT TV” which will show you how the Google On Air works. Basically, you click in and whoever moves or talks, the camera goes to them. Watching a few minutes of this will give you the general idea. Ours will be great stuff, I’m sure. Here’s that link. (Just watch a few minutes.)
  2. The second video is an example of what goes wrong when you video stuff, like having your five year old hold the camera when you do a bread making video. This is also for your amusement, so fast forward to about 1:30 when she starts holding up the Hello Kitty to the camera. Here’s THAT link.  The key is to just have fun. Nobody comes to your house and punches you in the nose if you make a bad video, and you don’t have to show it to anyone. Why did I show you this horrible video? To demonstrate that you won’t die if you make a bad video!
  3. THIS video shows a relatively boring second half of a bread making video, after my wife took over for my daughter. Nothing very exciting, so remember to smile and be pithy. Witty works. Try to be witty. Here’s that debacle.

Which video is most memorable? Beats me. But nothing really bad happened, did it? So you can do it, too.

So that’s where it stands. A videoblog panel show where we discuss author topics, have fun and goof off to show authors are people, too.


Who’s in?




Published by Dan Alatorre AUTHOR

International bestselling author Dan Alatorre has 17 titles published in over a dozen languages. From Romance in Poggibonsi to action and adventure in the sci-fi thriller The Navigators, to comedies like Night Of The Colonoscopy: A Horror Story (Sort Of) and the heartwarming and humorous anecdotes about parenting in the popular Savvy Stories series, his knack for surprising audiences and making you laugh or cry - or hang onto the edge of your seat - has been enjoyed by audiences around the world. And you are guaranteed to get a page turner every time. “That’s my style,” Dan says. “Grab you on page one and then send you on a roller coaster ride, regardless of the story or genre.” Readers agree, making his string of #1 bestsellers popular across the globe. He will make you chuckle or shed tears, sometimes on the same page. His novels always contain twists and turns, and his nonfiction will stay in your heart forever. Dan resides in the Tampa area with his wife and daughter. You can find him blogging away almost every day on www.DanAlatorre or watch his hilarious YouTube show every week Writers Off Task With Friends. Dan’s marketing book 25 eBook Marketing Tips You Wish You Knew has been a valuable tool for new authors (it’s free if you subscribe to his newsletter) and his dedication to helping other authors is evident in his helpful blog.

33 thoughts on “DRUNK DEBATE: Plotter vs. Pantser

  1. Whew…uh, yeah…video. I was all in for the blog posting, but you are now testing the boundaries of my ‘social anxiety’ – lol. You know, relative anonymatiy is what keeps us introverted writers doing our thing ;-). But alright, I want to participate with the superblog, so if this is the way we’re headed, then sign me up for this as well. I’ll just get creative with my camera angles. —Dana

    1. It won’t be mandatory to do videos in order to be accepted into the other things, but it’s never a bad idea to stretch our wings a little. Plus, once yo see a few, you’ll decide they’re harmless. My whole goal is to make the guests look good and have fun. If the people on the show are uncomfortable, the viewers will be, too. The topics will just be an excuse to have fun.

  2. I’m definitely interested in the anthology and the super blog, so might as well go for the trifecta. Right? Besides, I have a feeling my mentor/coach/business advisor would drag me over the coals if I tried to say no. 🙂
    One question though…I can leave the cover on my laptop camera, right? (Fine…I’ll take it off.)

    1. I’m in! (I think.) I checked out my webcam yesterday and it was a little glitchy, but I may have a solution. I think it’s a great idea. I’ve watched a few other videos of yours online, and you seem to be very good at making your authors feel comfortable. I’m looking forward to seeing how this comes along!

      1. It’s always interesting to see writers when they talk, I think. Movie directors, screen play writers, documentary writers, they often bring insights with them that we can learn from. I have a friend who does videos and the writers are so dry for 90% of it, and then when they start having fun he makes them get back on track. To me, that’s right when it was getting interesting.

  3. Saw all three videos – the first was entertaining, the second adorable (the giggling got me) and the third very professional…so, there’s my two cents! 🙂

    1. Linda, YOU are just the BEST! (Have I sent you my address so you can send me cookies for Christmas?)

      The giggling MAKES that video! Who can listen to a five year old pranking her dad and giggling the whole time and NOT laugh? My wife saw it and was dying. To me, that’s the lesson, the hidden gem of it all. Like when we did the Drunk Debate, it was a LOT of fun just goofing around. Nobody knew what the other two were going to do, except really quickly it became about making the others have fun.

      Capturing authors AND THEIR COOKIE MAKING FRIENDS being friendly and goofing off and having fun will be fun to watch, I think. If I’m wrong, I’m wrong.

  4. You could have your own cooking show Dan; providing your wife holds the camera, lol. I know videos are the new wave of exposure, and although I’ve been hesitant like a few other writers I know, you make it sound fun and inviting (as usual). So, as long as I have explicit technical directions, lol, I’m in! 🙂

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