Writing by the Seat of My Pants

There are two types of writers in this world:

The person who plans every single detail, before actually writing the thing. These are the Outliners.

I am the second type: The people who write not knowing what’s next. These are the Pantsers.

Why am I a Pantser?

  1. Adventure Awaits Us!

Unlike Outliners, we don’t know where our character is going to end up. Sure, we may have a loose chapter outline, and a loose novel outline, but nothing really when compared to an Outliner. Because we don’t know, we may be concerned for our characters, and may not decide on their deaths until the last minute. We also feel a deep connection with our characters because writing by the seat of our pants is like their journey, all over the place. I’m not saying that Outliners can’t have a connection with their characters, but this is the way we Pantsers do.

2. Editing in the Front or Back?

Because we don’t outline (at all, or not as much), we have MUCH more editing when we finish our rough draft. So the question is, do you want to slave over an outline and stuff and basically “edit” right up front or do you think it’s worth it not to outline and edit at the end?

3. Adrenaline

There’s also this thrill seeker part of the Pantser, but that just might be me. Writing an action scene, coming up with it on the fly brings our hearts to our throats, and ears. Adrenaline pours and we can’t type fast enough for how fast our minds are going.

4. (For Me) Lazeeeneesssssss

I don’t understand writing an outline so detailed…it’s almost as long as the finished book. WHY NOT JUST WRITE IT AND SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME AND WORK!!! AARRARGHAGRHGHGHG!!! Sorry. It irks me. I’m waaaaay to lazy to do that.

When it comes down to it, there is such a rush when you write by the seat of your pants, but there is also so much more editing work. Tell me in the comments below are you a Pantser or an Outliner?


13 thoughts on “Writing by the Seat of My Pants

  1. *prepares to rant–I mean engage in friendly debate* I’m a pantser turner plotter. I wrote my major work as a pantser, and the crazy amount of loose ends, random flow, and sagging middle definitely converted me to the good side. I outline, but I certainly don’t slave over it. I’ve gotten to a chapter, and I decide just to throw out the outline and improvise. The outline is more of a guideline. I understand that some people take it more seriously, but I like the surety I have in my outline. I always know where I’m going. And the adrenaline rush is just as great when you kill a character. Plus, you get to foreshadow beforehand, and it’s a little more subtle. Plotters unite!!!! *friendly debate over. climbs down from soapbox.*


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