Are You a Pantser? 3 Things to Consider

Are You a Pantser? 3 Things to Consider

You might be wondering what a pantser is. Despite autocorrects attempts, you read that right. A pantser is an author who sits down and writes a book, by the seat of their pants. No outline, no plan. I’m sure they have an idea of where they’re going. But maybe they don’t.

I can’t tell you how many writers tell me they’re pantsers and don’t have a book to show for it. As a hybrid pantser/outliner myself I get where you’re coming from. I really do. You want to just jump in on that scene you thought about as the idea came to you. You can totally take it from there! And some people can. Stephen King is the most famous pantser I know of. And obviously that works for him. BUT if you don’t have a book or workable manuscript from your years of pantsing, you should consider other ways. 

  1. You don’t have to create a detailed outlineI call myself a hybrid because I make a bulleted list of plot points. It’s that simple. I just need something to look at when I get a little lost. I know people who spend more time on the outline than the book itself and I just can’t do that. I would outline all day then be sick of the project. 
  2. If you have a workable draft from pantsing keep it up! You don’t get your grandmother’s famous cookie recipe (or in my case my dads) and go changing it. If it’s working keep doing it. If you find something that makes it easier for DO IT! This is your baby, your career, your book. Do what works for you.
  3. Don’t give up: Writing isn’t as easy as people seem to believe. You might have to try several different approaches to find what works for you. I work best out of the house or late at night. I need that bulleted outline, most times I don’t even look at it after I write it out but the process of thinking about the story in a linear fashion helps me. So I keep doing it. 

Are you a pantser? Do you know of any famous authors who are?

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