Getting Started Week - Day Three

Today's subject also serves as an answer to YA Highway's Road Trip Wednesday question.

I'm going to be looking at the "Pantser Approach" today ('cause that's how I roll) and tomorrow I'll examine the "Planner Approach", which is something I do in my day job and can surely apply here.

Understanding how you write is essential to getting started!

So, writers can fall into two broad categories - those who plan and those who go with the flow.  It's possible to be both at once, but I'll examine each approach separately.


If the following sounds like you, welcome to the Seat of Your Pants/Trousers club!

Your ID card.  Carry it at all times

You go with the flow.  You do not plan and cannot stand to do so.  You never know where a story is taking you.  The whole thing works itself out as you create it. 

Planning will stop you writing.  I find it boring.  Letting the story come as you write is exhilarating, everything working itself out in your head as it pours onto the page.

I will have a loose idea in my head, but the characters and the major events just kind of happen.  Things pop up and shriek "Oi! Writer! Look at me! I'm important! Follow my lead!" Instant inspiration is probably the best way to explain it.  The story naturally goes in a particular direction.  I tweak everything in the editing phase and make sure I keep very extensive notes as I write so nothing is lost or forgotten.

Does that sound like you? Hooray! Let's be Pantsers together!

And don't worry - this is not the wrong way to write.  If thinking "but I never plan!" is stopping you writing, worry no more and pick up that pen!


  1. I am mostly a pantser. I have tried serious outlines, and I felt like it killed my writing in the end. When I start a project, I need to know the opening scene, the ending scene, and the climactic scene. Once I know those things, I just write and see where things go when I connect those things.

  2. Rachel Bateman: I feel the same way about outlines. And I'm too impatient to sit and write them. I want to put all that energy into the story itself.

  3. Panters FTW!!!

    Well, I'm not a complete pantser. I"m a combo with a tiny bit of planning and researching, but I prefer the pantser life style! lol

    Great post!

  4. I think I'm a combination of the two... maybe... see, my outlines go like this: I sit down and then I start listing major events that may occur in the story. Then I ignore this list and just write anyway. XD

  5. I'm a hybrid Plotser--borrowing heavily from both methods. I end up cutting too much when I wholly pants (Holy corduroys, Batman!) or stifling the voice if I outline too much.

  6. A mostly plotter weighing in! Sometimes I find that having an outline stops me from getting lost in the story, or from attacks of writer's block. I think whichever method works for a person is the best. :)

  7. Kody Keplinger: FTW indeed! I research but my planning consists of "I don't know how I'll get there, but that's the end. Okay, let's go!"

    Angie: I make lists as I go so I don't lose track.

    Angelica R Jackson: Yeah, I have cut over 15,000 words from my first draft and I'm not quite done yet!

    Rebecca B: I create an outline after my first draft is complete so I know what happens when, but when I start, my outline would consist of a beginning, and end, and lots of white space!


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