A Pantsers’ Plan

In writing circles there’s ‘planners’ and ‘pantsers’ – as in fly by the seat of their pants(ers).

I am most certainly the latter; but this does not mean I do not plan.

When I get the beginning of a story I rush to write it down, while writing the ending comes quickly to me, I might even have to stop writing the beginning to write the ending. It’s almost always the last line. The punch.

It’s the middle I can’t control, it always goes off on some random diversion, and I’m saying to the character:

—Come back! Come back you mad fool! I need you over here for the end.

Sometimes, they won’t come back – the ending changes. Other times their GPS kicks in and everything ties up neatly.

IMG_2416 (1)

My storylines never look like the highway in this photo.

And, when I neatly plan a story—like a proper writer—with diagrams, charts, and tables it stubbornly refuses to go in that direction: diversion central, high speed chases, a few car wrecks.

In my opinion pantsers plan; It’s just super-fast and in their heads.

We write quick, edit slowly.

What do you think?

4 thoughts on “A Pantsers’ Plan

  1. You’re lucky that your stories have inbuilt GPS! I wish mine did—but I guess that’s too much to expect when I don’t even follow it when I use it in the car!

    I think you’re right—pantsers plan, too, but it’s quickly and on the go. It’s also changeable! I know when I was writing the first draft of my novel, I stopped every so often and scrawled a rough idea for how I wanted the next couple of scenes or chapters to go.

    A great post!


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