For those of you unfamiliar with what a “Pantser” is, I’ll explain.When it comes to writers, there are two types. One is called a “Plotter”. These are very disciplined writers who outline everything in their story before they begin to write. They have it all planned out what will happen, when it will happen, how, etc.
Then, there are “Pantsers”. These are writers who, basically, get an idea for a story and go. No outline, No plan, just go. They write by the seat of their pants, hence the name “Pantser.”
As for me…
Yes…it’s true…I am a “Pantser”. I do not make an outline when I begin a new short story, novella or even a novel. Why? Because I haven’t “seen the movie” yet. Some of you are probably saying “What the heck is she babbling about?” Allow me to explain…
This is how my writing process works: First, I get an idea for a story. I mull it around for a while before I decide if it will be a short story, novella or novel. Of course, sometimes I get fooled, and think it will be one thing, but it turns out to be something else, instead. Case in point – My novel “The Bucktown Babies”.
This was actually going to be a short story, but shortly after I started writing, I realized it needed to be a full novel. There was just too much stuff going on in “the movie”. There’s that “movie” thing again. Don’t worry, I’ll get to that.
After I decide what form the story will take (initially), I finally sit down to write. Do I write the outline? No way! I’ll make some notes about the story and characters, but that’s about it.
Here’s where the “movie” comes in. Once I sit down and start writing, it almost feels as though I am watching a movie, and describing in words what I am seeing. For me, being a “pantser” and not using an outline keeps everything fresh and exciting. I think that’s because I really DON’T know what is going to happen to my characters. It’s almost like they have a life of their own. Oh, I have an idea, of course…after all, I’m writing the story, not them. But, still, it does almost feel like they have a life of their own.
And, it has worked out pretty good for me so far. For example, in “The Bucktown Babies”, Father Gunter (a former priest) is given something by another priest. In all honesty, when I wrote that particular scene, I really had no idea what the reason was going to be that the priest gave this particular item to Father Gunter. After I did some research on the demon in the book, it turned out that in demonology, this particular item DOES happen to have power over this particular demon.
I know there are those of you who will probably read this and say “You shouldn’t do that. You should do an outline so you know exactly where your story is going and how it’s going to get there,” and, in a way, you would be right. However, I happen to feel like an outline restricts me. I feel confined…almost imprisoned. Sort of like seeing the end of the movie, then watching it from the beginning. Why bother…you already know what’s going to happen.
So, that’s why I like being a “pantser”. It’s fun and exciting and you never know what’s going to happen. Besides…I get to watch “the movies”. Right now, I’m watching the second “Father Gunter, Demon Hunter” movie, and you know what? It’s better than the first one.
So, that’s all for now. I’ll see you again with my next post.