No, I’m not talking about taking revenge by pulling someone’s pants down or plotting a nefarious plan. I’m talking about my preferred writing style.
A panster is someone who writes without a plot or outline, they write by the seat of their pants, they get an idea and write it, seeing where it takes them.
For those who know me, you know that I am a detail oriented person, so it would be no surprise to learn that I plot out and do detailed character profiles. I have three binders where I keep my character profiles, worldbuilding, magic system, and where I have actually done several detailed drafts of my plot outline before I start writing.
Having said that, though, I also tend to be a panster, and no this isn’t contradictory. Many authors write in both camps, making them plansters.
When I hit writer’s block, or my characters stop talking to me, I will sit my plot aside, hand the reins to my characters and see where they lead me. Often this is all it takes to get things back on track.
I allow my plot and characters to guide me while I tell my story, rather than being held captive by my plot or characters. This is true for my life too, I have my goals, plans, or programs, but if I feel the Spirit guiding me somewhere else I have no problems letting go and seeing where I’m led!
So are you a plotter, panster, or planster?