Are you a Plotter or Pantser?

It was interesting to find out some of the people at the PSWA conference had not idea what being a pantser meant. In case you don't know, it comes from the phrase, flying by the seat of your pants. In other words, writing without having an outline of your plot already figured out.

The panelists who discussed the subject were:

Thonie Hevron, Eileen Magill, Mike Brandt, Joe addiego, Janet Greger, and Barbara Hodges.

Some plotted, some were pantsers, and a couple were a combination of both.

They felt the pantsers might have to do more rewriting.

One panelist didn't like not knowing what to write.

Another felt that the author should have the arc of the story pretty much in mind.

Which is easier? Mixed feelings.

And one reported tha outlines are not perfect and will probably have to be changed as the writing moved along.

What about you? If you're a writer, do you plan ahead, making an outline to follow as you write?

Or do you just start with some ideas in your head and move on from there?

Or do you do a combination of things?

Let us know in your comments.

Marilyn aka F. M. Meredith


Lorna Collins - said…
I am primarily a pantser, but I always know the story arc from the beginning. Larry is a plotter. Maybe that's why we write well together.
I written about this in two different places. And finding that authors are pretty evenly divided.
Dee Card said…
I am a combination, probably more pantser. I usually have the story arc complete but how my characters get there is a bit of a mystery. Sometimes my characters take the story and run another direction and leave me scurrying to catch up.
Dee, I'm more of a pantser too, though some things I know ahead of time.
Nancy LiPetri said…
I'm more of a plotter because I have the ending I know I am writing toward, as well as several scenes I know will take me toward it. But like other writers, I let the characters surprise me as they move through it all. They, and my bedside notepad, bring in new scenes all the time, and that's the fun of it!
Sometimes I think it would be easier to plot it all out, but I can't wait and jump in. I do keep that notebook busy though. Thanks for commenting, Nancy.

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