It’s been a fun ride so far since I published my book in March. March 4th to be exact! That’s a date I’ll remember until senility hits. I’ve learned so much in the past 3 months.
One word that was new to me was Pantser. What the heck is a Pantser? I’ve also seen it spelled with a “z” but more people use the “s”. I figured out the meaning of the word when I saw people discussing Pantsers vs. Planners or Plotters. OH! It’s a term used by authors to describe their writing style. Planners write outlines and Pantsers…well, they fly by the seat of their Pants!
I am definitely a Pantser. At first I felt like that might be a bad thing, since outlining seemed so much more organized. I’d love to follow an outline. Then I would know exactly what comes next and how to plan for the future scenes. BUT…I have a process and it’s one that I enjoy. I write the story and let my characters dictate where it will go.
Of course I know the general idea of the story line, how it will progress, and the eventual outcome. The thing is, I don’t want to spoil my fun. When I write it’s a bit like reading, I just can’t wait to see what happens next!! The first time I wrote a full novel it just happened. I had this idea, I started to write, and the characters drove the story. I loved it so much that I want to do it over and over again.
I felt somewhat vindicated about my process when I read Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft. His work is character driven and not outlined ahead of time. I absolutely loved his book on the process and the finer points. He is the King after all.
Of course, one problem I face with the Pantser method is that I sometimes write my characters into a corner. I reach a point where I realize it just isn’t working, and then I have to throw some of my hard work into the recycle bin. What if I had an outline, and then realized something wouldn’t work? Would my whole outline then become null? Supposedly an outline would take care of that issue, but I doubt I could stick to it.
If I write a scene where my characters are spilling their guts, and my muse enlightens me about some new hidden secret, that might just change the direction of their relationships, struggles, and possibly even the ending!
So, I’m proud to say I’m a Pantser because my muse won’t let me have it any other way.
Leave a comment to let me know what you think about my process. Are you a Pantser or planner? As a reader, what do you think would be better?
Have a super day and think positive!!!! (I like blogging because I get to use all the exclamation points I want!!!!)