Zero Drafting

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well. Today I am going to be exploring the idea of zero drafting!

Zeo Drafting

Many people believe that if you want to write fiction, you have to start with a complete and detailed outline of the plot and all of your character arcs, while others believe that you should “pants” your way through (pansting refers to the act of writing by the seat of your pants with no plan at all). But there is another method, known as zero drafting, which lies somewhere in the middle.

“What is zero drafting?” you ask.

In short, zero drafting is a method of writing a novel or a short story without doing any pre-planning. This does not mean, however, that you can merely sit down and start writing without any idea of what you want to write about. Instead, zero drafting means doing a bit of basic brainstorming to think up a general idea for your story and then just starting to write, beginning with whole scenes or little chunks of story. Whatever comes to you, note it down.

What makes zero drafting unique is that it emphasizes the act of writing itself rather than worrying about the mechanics or structure of what is being written; because there is no “planning” involved, you are free to explore and play with ideas as they come to you and work them into your project naturally, instead of forcing yourself into a pre-planned outline. This method encourages a natural and organic approach to writing, allowing ideas to flow without having to put too much effort into shaping them into a solid format beforehand.

Zero drafting also allows for flexibility. If you discover that your original idea is not working out the way you wanted it to, you can change it or scrap it altogether and try something else. This can help you increase your creative productivity and make writing more enjoyable. With an outline, on the other hand, you may feel like you are married to your original idea and be unwilling to make any changes.

Zero drafting has some drawbacks though: since you won’t have any rules or guidelines set before you start, it can be hard to stay focused and finish your project on time (if you have a deadline). Similarly, it could be more difficult to revise your work without having done some type of pre-writing planning.

Whether or not zero drafting is the best starting method for you will depend on your preferences. Some prefer to have everything from the plot to major character arcs planned out in minute detail before they even think about writing in prose, while others find that too restrictive, preferring to pants their stories. Then, there are those who find themselves neither plotter nor pantser.

If you are unsure which camp you fall into, then the next time you sit down to write, why not give zero drafting a go? You might be surprised by just how well it works for you. You may find that diving straight into your project without wasting time over-planning and overthinking helps you get into “the zone” faster, enabling you to focus solely on creating great work without distractions getting in your way; conversely, you might find that zero drafting is not for you at all, but at least you will have tried something new!

Do you plot or throw caution to the wind and pants it? Have you zero drafted before? Let me know.

As always, thanks for stopping by and spending some time here today – I appreciate it!

Until next time,


© 2023 GLT

Categories: Writing Tips, Outlines, Generating Ideas

Tags: , , , , , , ,

1 reply


  1. Zero Drafting

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