Flying by the Seat of my Pants

flying pigI’m a pantser. I admit it. Actually, I’m quite content as a pantser. I own my pantserism.

In the literary world, a pantser is a writer who writes  as the muse leads, rather than plotting and outlining. From what I’ve learned, there are plotter and pantser authors. One is not better than the other. Both need inspiration and creativity. It just comes down to a matter of style.

I have always written by the seat of my pants. Remember those dreaded term papers in high school? My teachers would have been appalled to know that I wrote my outline after writing the paper.

I’m not against plotting. In fact, I do it often. In my head. Why waste the time, I argue, to write everything down when it’s going to change. Kind of like the weather. Or maybe like life. That’s always changing.

My stories usually begin with a location, then I craft the narrative around it. During quiet moments, I visualize the main character and a problem. I choose the path for the beginning, and I know in some fashion how it will end. Then, I write. Sub-characters emerge. Action ensues. Dialogue brings the scenes to life.

Time to mull again. In fact, that’s what I like to do just before I fall asleep at night. Picture what comes next. The story needs conflict, or perhaps a back-story for interest. Add a few twists–which might surprise me, as well. The muses work their magic.

I’m glad there’s a name for my condition, and it’s not life-threatening. In fact, for me, being a pantser works. And I’m proud of it.

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