Panster or Plotter? Tell me what you are.

Guest blog by Hans Hirschi

When I wrote my first novel, I was done with my first draft in roughly ten days. Book number two was done just two weeks later. I was on a roll. First drafts, mind you. It took a lot longer to rewrite and edit, but that’s a separate blog post. People were envious of my creative rush and never having done that before, I got scared: can I ever do this again? What if I can’t?

I still remember when one of my main characters died, right in front of my eyes, as the letters appeared on the screen of my laptop. It was petrifying, and I had to take a break for a couple of days before I trusted my instincts and pressed on. Probably why book two took four days longer to write. #writershumor

Over the years, as I worked my way through the countless changes from my editor, usually focusing more on my lacking language ability than actual ‘edits’ (English is my seventh language and I suck at it), I began to change my approach to writing. Wanting to write a better book than the one before, technically, I began to question my subconscious. #NoMoreDeadMCs I began to plot more and more, keeping notes as I wrote and writing became more complex and time-consuming.

I still try to listen to my characters, follow their lead, but I’m mindful of certain aspects of the craft of writing, genre conventions (to break them, of course!), or applying recent grammar lessons from my latest oeuvre. Does it help? I hope so. I would like to think that my writing improves from story to story, but others be the judge of that. As long as I get to write the stories I want to read myself, I’m good.

This last year has been hard on me. Let’s be honest. I think the total number of pages I’ve written since the pandemic broke out can be counted by simply using the number of fingers on my two hands. My creativity has gone missing and my muses are in lockdown somewhere. I can only hope they’ll both return once we file Covid-19 to the annals of history.




Hans Hirschi writes character-driven stories that expose ordinary people to unexpected situations making the spectrum of queer lives visible to a wider public, hopeful tales with unconventional happy endings.

Join him during the Contemporary reading hour (Reading A3)

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