Monday, June 4, 2012

Writing by the Seat of Your Pants

Are you a pantser? Is your approach, just write the darn thing? If so, your personality profile on the Jung-Myers test is most likely high in one of these three areas, intuitive, feeling, extrovert. I hope you went to If not, try it. Take the test and think about how you write.  There is no one right way to write a good novel.

Personally, I dislike methodology, the Snowflake method and others.

At the OWFI, Pam and I shepherded a pantser, a multi=published author who simply sat down and wrote. I can’t write like that. Why? My personality profile is a Guardian-Instructor. I’m extroverted, judgmental, and detailed, no problem as long as I turn out a good book.

What are the advantages for people who write this way? Like Larry-The Cable Guy says, they getter done. There isn’t much prep work. They don’t get bogged down in editing until later. How many of you at one point or another wrote the first chapter of your novel eight times, gave up, and threw it away. Pantsers keep on trucking.

There are problems writing this way. Pantser have to go back and make many corrections. People, places, and things maybe described differently between the beginning and the end. When a beginner writes this way, the middle is a muddle. Sidetracks occur mid-story. They end up either with a novella length attempt or a 500-page ramble. However, they learn and they’ve written something. It is a beginning.

Again, WEW-Whatever Works. If you successfully write great books this way, keep doing that. If you are stuck and trying to recapture your skills, be a pantser for a week. The objective for us all is to turn out great books that we are proud to share.


Lisa Orchard said...

I'm a pantser and I love writing this way! It's so funny I did a guest blog post on this very subject and I've found that there are more pantsers out there than I thought! It's great to connect with fellow pantsers! You are immediately understood. :)

Bill Wetterman said...

So, do you fit the profile? Are you an extrovert, intuitive, and go with your feeling?

John Biggs said...

I start out with a plan but it doesn't take long before things move of their own volition--even to the point of changing my pov character.