Plotter: a writer who plans out his or her novel.
Pantser: one who writes by the seat of his or her pants.
Confession: I am a pantser.
I have tried to be a plotter. Here is the evidence, blurred in case I use it one day:
I sat down and figured out the timelines of events for seven characters and subplots.
And then I proceeded to stare at my blank screen and could. not. make. it. happen.
I returned to my pantser ways.
It occurred to me the other day that pantsers need to have a lot of faith in the writing process: we are stepping into the unknown, armed with no conclusion, shielded by no outline. Instead, we have to simply believe that the writing process will take over: write, feedback, revise, repeat. It’s so, so risky.
What if no conclusion presents itself?
What if I get my characters into trouble I can’t save them from?
What if I’m walking blindly over the edge of a cliff?
Thankfully I’ve learned (and continue to learn) to love risk and uncertainty. (Thanks, ERP!)
And so I’ll walk that tightrope, trusting the creative process is a net beneath me.