Posts Tagged ‘nanowrimo’

I recently found out I’m a pantser!  What in the world is that, you may ask?

No, I don’t like to pull down strangers pants for fun and I’m definitely not a German tank.  In the context of writing, a pantser is an author who writes what comes to mind (“by the seat of your pants”) versus plotting ahead of time (outlining).  Apparently, this term was coined by NaNoWriMo.org (National Novel Writing Month).

In Stephen King’s book, On Writing, he  indicates he writes what’s in his head, not always knowing where his characters will take him.  An outcome he originally visualizes usually ends up unexpected.  This is similar to the way I write.  I see a scene in my head that may start in the middle, end, or beginning of the novel.   I write several key scenes, never in order, and the characters develop their personalities as each situation unfolds.

Once the story unravels, I’ll write a basic outline and add bullets points of what scene/character/point of view I should add between the ones I’ve already written.  I love writing this way and was happy to find out I don’t have to plot the entire story before I start writing.  If I had to do this, I would never start.

When asked who was a pantser in our last local RWA chapter meeting, only three in the entire room raised our hands.  So, I’m in the minority.  As long as I keep writing, I proudly accept my title as a pantser.

For you authors out there, are you a pantser or a planner or somewhere in-between?

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