Pantsing It

Pantser. Flying by the seat of my pants. Flying into the mist.

Usually spoken of quite derogatorily by authors who plot, pantsers write their stories with no outline, no idea of who the characters are or what’s going to happen in the story.

I personally love it.

Words just pop out onto the page, characters develop themselves, plot twists and turns magically appear. Usually.

In the MG I’m currently working on, it’s been 4 chapters of pantsing. And almost every single page has a twist or tweak I never saw coming. It’s been fun. And I haven’t gotten stuck yet.

One of the biggest problems with pantsing is writing yourself into a corner. How did I get here? How will I get out of this? What comes next?

I’ve discovered, with a little help =), that I do really well as a pantser, if I also write an outline covering the major parts of the story. I still surprise myself, and still enjoy the writing process without a black cloud lurking over my head – the one that says but Carrie, what’s going to come next? The outline looks nothing like the rest of the story, but I also rarely write myself into a corner anymore.

I haven’t outlined any of my MG as of yet, but I think that’s going to go on my to-do list this weekend. Just an hour of brainstorming will usually give me enough of a plot outline that I can zoom back in, fly off into the mist, and not have to worry about that darn plot corner.

And I can still have lots of fun finding out what Dwayne’s going to get into next.

=)

carrie

4 Responses to “Pantsing It”

  • Great post! I’m a pantser, much as I try to turn myself into a plotter. I just love the magic of writing from the seat of my pants!

  • I can’t plot, but I can outline…and that seems to work for me so far….if I ever get into longer books, then we’ll have some serious trouble!!

    thanks for posting Becke!

    carrie

  • Jen:

    I usually have a loose outline that goes out the window because when the words are flowing, they don’t stay within the lines. Then new characters pop up…not good. I always have too many characters.

  • When you’re in the flow, all plotting and all outlines go out the window.

    Until the next morning. I’m always amazed when I do a re-read. Sometimes good, sometimes bad!

    =)

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