The Faith of a Pantser

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:

Kipp plot blur

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.

Related posts:
Pantsers Unite!
Trusting the Creative Process
Fiction: How I Start
Truth Tripline
My Writing Process

4 thoughts on “The Faith of a Pantser

  1. I think it’s good to know what you are. I used to think I was a plotter, but then once I get writing I change everything and all my plots/outlines/plans don’t make sense anymore. I’m embracing being a pantser for NaNoWriMo … it makes me nervous, but I think it’s going well.

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