Author's Notes| Pantser

You feel it right? That need to write and just get the story out as soon as possible? You pick up your pen, or grab your tablet and just get to it. The iron is hot, and you’re striking! Notice, that nowhere in this scenario did you see the words plan, outline, or organize. That’s because there was none or hardly any. These writers (myself included) are called pantsers. These are the writers that don’t like making an outline because they like the spontaneity that comes from letting themselves go into flow. They often feel that when you are outlining you have already written the story. If you aren’t sure what a pantser is check below to see if any of these things apply to you! Otherwise, you might be a plotter, and you can find more information about plotters here!


Don’t like how the story is going? That’s fine you can change it on the spot. Killing off the main character? It’s fine, they aren’t bound to any rule set by the outline. Do you need to nix that whole chapter you just wrote? That’s fine. Whatever it takes to make the story better. Pantsers are used to making on the spot changes. Which also means that their story elements though important are less precious. They can pivot several times to complete the story, and aren’t feeling the agonizing pull to keep to a plot point that was written out beforehand.

The world is your desk

You can write anywhere. You are also able to churn out stories with very little prep involved. You just need something to write with and some paper. As a pantser the important part is to get the story underway, so you don’t need to do much once your muse calls. This isn’t to say that you don’t enjoy libraries and writing nooks like any other writers, it just means that you are just as happy writing at the bus stop as you are at a desk.

Element driven stories

As a pantser, I personally find that my characters are telling me what they want to do and I am just recording their actions for posterity. For other pantsers, a scene or item might spark their creativity. Maybe they were just in a shop that sells lamps. Suddenly a steampunk novel takes shape about a map found etched on a lamp that can only be seen when the lamp is lit emerges. Whatever happened, a story has taken shape, and they start writing it as soon as possible to get their thought out.

Project dropping

Pantsers are more likely to drop a project when they get stuck and move on to another project until that spark comes back. This is great creative wise, but not great for actually finishing projects. Writer’s block is a real thing. If you as a pantser lose that spark halfway through the book then you run the risk of not knowing where to go with your story when you get back to the book.

Continuity shifts

This is also a problem for pantsers. When you pivot and adjust as above you find that there are parts that may not match up. The editing process for the pantser is like no others! Most of the time we’re good. There aren’t a lot of serious timeline problems, but as anyone who writes knows, changing one small thing in your book might make the book change in very large ways.

At the end of the day, there is no wrong way to write a book. Whatever way gets the story told is the write way. If you are a pantser then be proud of your exciting stories and free-spirited writing style. There are ways to get around the potholes of pantser writing, and if you would like me to do an article on it just comment below! If you are a plotter enjoy the fun of color-coding your files, and creating vast worlds. The story that you tell is the most important part of the journey. Don’t let writing style be your hang up to not sharing your voice. You have a story, and we all want to hear it!


This Post Has 2 Comments

    1. SLWilliams

      Thank you! Yes, plotters are out of this world. I can only hope to be so organized one day!

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