HAAO – Pantser and Plotter stories

I am going to further pursue my thoughts about pantsers (seat of the pants writers).

Therefore, I appeal to you to share the myths you’ve heard about pantsers or your experiences as a panster.

Heck, just to be fair, if you’re a plotter, what’s it like? Are there myths about plotters? Are you all office-supply junkies?

Tell all


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2 Responses to “HAAO – Pantser and Plotter stories”

  1. Minze says:

    One myth about both could be that you're either a pantser or a plotter, couldn't it? That it's something you ARE, not something you DO, and that it's a dichotomy. Pantsers vs plotters, and never the twain shall meet. When real writers talk about their work, however, it seems as if many of them do both – pants the first act, then create an outline for the next act. Or pants the whole novel and write an outline afterwards. Or write an outline that's so very vague that you're still pantsing most scenes, but you kind of know where it's all supposed to be headed.

    Personally, I've always been a pantser. I didn't even write from start to finish; I wrote a scene here, an entirely unrelated scene there, then a few more scenes, and it all gradually came together, like a puzzle. (OR NOT.) I used to think that pantsing was the most exciting way to write, a bit like getting in the car and just travelling anywhere – a voyage of discovery. My current book is the first I'm writing with an outline, and I found out that plotting is a lot more fun, adaptable and effective than I'd thought. It's still a journey of discovery, but this time I've got a map.

  2. Angie says:

    Very good points Minze.

    Panster vs. plotter reminds me of a wise parable: You say tomato, I say tomahto.

    I don't think it makes a bit of difference which one you are (or do).

    One of the most marketable writers, i.e. let's say Steven King, says he just pantsers it. Some of his best work comes from panstering it.

    Then there are other writers who say, “outline, plot, map," or you have a story going nowhere, and these are well published authors.

    Well, I've done both and ran into problems on both accounts; although, I have had some brilliant moments dabbling with either discipline. I mean, haven't you ever sat in a car with your husband and read a map, knowing you told him the EXACT and CORRECT directions, but then find yourself saying, "I knew (we) shoulda taken that left turn at Albuquerque"?

    So whether you like pajamas or pajahmas, you can either be a panster or a plotter or a little bit of both and still find success!