laptop pad pen glasses

I did it! I wrote chapter 1 of my new novel. I don’t know exactly where the book is going, though I have a general outline in my head. But that’s as it should be, at least for me. When I write a book, I like to see where it goes of its own accord. If it goes in a different direction than my general outline, so be it.

Writers like to talk about “plotters” and “pantsers.” These are two different ways of writing. The plotters make an elaborate outline and plot out all the details beforehand. Then the writing is a simple matter of turning the outline into sentences, paragraphs, and chapters. The pantsers fly by the seat of their pants. In other words, they don’t have a detailed outline, and they just start writing and see where the story takes them.

I consider myself a pantser, but in reality all writers employ a combination of these two types of writing. But I’m far more of a panster than a plotter. In fact, when I wrote my book of poetry, I was the ultimate pantser, writing poems to describe my love life as I was living it, day by day and week by week. I had no idea what my future love life would bring, but I trusted that it would be interesting enough for poetry, and so it was.

If you are a writer, are you a plotter or a pantser?