Pantser or Planner?

Happy April! It’s April 1st and I promise there are no April Fools jokes here, although I have plenty planned for the members of my household today. It’s tradition, after-all.

Today, I wanted to touch base on something that is a really popular topic in the author world. If you have TikTok, I’m sure you’ve seen the videos of authors talking about being a pantser or a planner.

Here’s the run down.
A planner is someone who carefully sculpts their work and has it planned out to the tiniest detail before beginning the story.
A pantser is someone who flies by the seat of their pants. They write what hits their mind when it hits there mind.

I’m often asked this and at times I think it’s funny to identify myself with one or the other.

And, here’s my answer.

I’m both.
Unpopular opinion, I know.

I try so hard to be an organized writer, but 90% of the time I am ALL. OVER. THE. PLACE! Typically, when I begin a new story, I’ll have a general idea in my head. Like, I know I’ll start at point A, where the guy and the girl are here, then they’ll eventually go to point B, where this and this happens and point C happens to end the story.

Then, I write. I write whatever comes to me and put it all on paper. A lot of times, I’ll call my friend Nicole and be like, “Hey, I have this new story and this is what I’m thinking.” She’ll come back with some ideas and we just kind of build off one another.

But, I’ve noticed that when I’m a pantser I burn out so quickly in my story. It eventually gets written, but it will take a while because I have no set plan and ideas will come to me during the re-reads and I have to find places to add things into the story.

So, recently, I was asked the question again and I thought, heck, let me just try this.

I did. I had a cover I had purchased a while ago when a friend was having a pre-made sale and I loved it. It was sweet and perfect. I didn’t have a story in mind at the time, but recently one came to me and I added it into my trusty little note book of ideas.

I created an outline, going chapter by chapter and visualizing the story.

Let me just say, wow! It’s amazing what taking the time to plot out the full story can do. I haven’t been writing it yet, but I know that when I do it’ll be an easier process since I’ll have most of what I want to be added into each chapter ready to go for me.

So, the question. Panters or Planner? Well, I suppose I’m still both because sometimes a story hits and I won’t be able to take the time to plan it out and will feel the need to just take off with it.


J. Akridge

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