Thursday, June 20, 2013

Thursday's Thoughts: Panster versus Planner

What kind of person are you? By that, I mean, are you a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants person (hence, "pantser") or are you a plan-it-down-to-the-last-detail person?

In life, I try to be a planner. I like knowing where I'm going, what I'm doing, and the most efficient way to get it done. I feel less stress when I understand exactly how it's going to go, or at the very least how it will end up (whatever "it" is). 

In writing, I am a 100% pantser. I did try to outline a book. It was fun - I got to tell the story in my head at that moment, and I made it to the end of the outline very quickly. Five pages of scene-by-scene detail - writing from it should've been a breeze. But, when I sat down to write it just the way I'd laid it out, I realized that the dialogue and tension I'd built and continued to build in my characters wouldn't follow the outline. Instead, I took a journey so far away from the path laid that I actually laughed when I finished the book. 

They were two different stories with the same character names.

When I'm writing, I have no idea how the ending will turn out. I change the beginning at least three times before finishing, then when the ending is complete, I rewrite the beginning again to attempt a near full-circle enclosure. I love being surprised. I love watching a story unfold in my head, and getting it down on paper. And I mostly love that the story I was writing yesterday morphed slightly, and those changes are reflected today. It makes tomorrow seem so promising.

So, what kind of person or writer are you?


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