If you rebel against the kind of writing that requires planning ahead, plotting a course, and preparing each chapter and scene, you’re not alone. We are Pantsers; proud of our discoveries, unafraid of mistakes, and free to write whatever pops into our head.
As a fellow Pantser, I’ve collected some affirmations and insights that might help sharpen your understanding of our oft-eccentric creative process.
PANTSERS ARE IDEA GENERATORS
Pantsers are best suited to short bursts of brainstorming. Once a truly inspiring idea is sparked, it sets off a chain reaction. Tiny pieces click into place so quickly, it’s almost like the rest writes itself. Some might mistake this process as effortless creativity, so remember to value your ideas and don’t give them away too freely.
PANTSERS ARE FLEXIBLE
A Pantser will form worlds, characters, and details as they go, fitting things in as-needed. Scenes and storylines come from an innate storytelling sense that is further developed as a Pantser immerses in their work. In most cases, a rigid writing schedule far more helpful than an outline. Time is harder to pin down than plot, so make the most of your spare hours.
PANTSERS ARE MULTITASKERS
It’s rare for a Pantser to do “pre-writing”. Research, character bios, and world building all happen alongside the first draft in a chaotic frenzy that is, more often than not, a huge mess. It may seem disorganized to the Plotters among us, but forcing a hardcore Pantser to do those things beforehand is a sure way to douse their interest in a project. Don’t worry too much about the mess, it’s all part of the process.
PANTSERS ARE PROBLEM SOLVERS
Pantsers are so very good at painting themselves into corners, dropping into a plot hole, or needing to slow down and smooth things over with characters who won’t cooperate with the next plot point. Instead of seeing these as writerly failings, Pantsers can turn problems into opportunities that will astound their audience with twists and turns nobody (and I mean nobody) saw coming.
PANTSERS ARE EAGER LEARNERS
Curiosity and passion for creativity fuel Pantsers to learn more about writing techniques and hone their skills. A Pantser is usually more interested in putting new ideas to the test than reading How To books or taking classes. These trial runs may lead to a lot of error, but putting in the practice is what helps us grow and evolve as writers.
Are you a Pantser? Share a little encouragement in the comments or via my Pantser Appreciation Day Tweet.