There are two major types of writers. Pantsers write by the seat of their pants and even they don’t know what happens next. Plotters move from one stage to another, always seemingly knowing what is coming up next.
If writing a book was murder, pantsers would be second degree murderers who only come up with that decision in the heat of the moment. Plotters would be first degree murderers, who carefully plan their moves with the intent of outwitting the police. Or home detectives if that is the goal.
But wait. Writers do commit murders as a matter of course. Without any tears shed by them, they blatantly kill off characters in their books. Indeed, maybe the characters lost to editing, might be called manslaughter to get the full range of killers in this essay.
First degree murderers are the most feared. Precisely because they plan. If they are good enough planners they might get away with it and be on to their second, third and fourth murders.
Second degree murderers are hotheads who seemingly demand a high degree of respect. Despite the fact that you seemingly have to tiptoe around these people the most, they aren’t considered the worst by society. That’s because you don’t know who a first degree murderer is and although you probably should tiptoe around them as well, you don’t know who it is you need to tiptoe around.
We’ve all read books where someone you like dies. The real killer is of course the writer. The writer thought they were throwaway enough to not be necessary to the penultimate ending.
With the pantser, you can get mad at them all you want. They will laugh in your face. That’s just the way things are, they might tell you. Life is fundamentally a game of chance. And that is represented in their story.
But with the plotter, you know that the plotter deliberately made you care about the individual that they knew must be killed. It was in the plan all along. If you complain they might take it out on a character in their next book, the one after that or even after that.
So obviously the plotter is worse. But beware, The plotter may know this and always say s/he’s a pantser in order to curry some favour with her/his disappointed readers. These are obviously the worst writers of all. Unmasking them, however, is the hard part. Indeed, all pantser writers may be fiction, brought in as an idea just to make plotters not look so bad.