Writer's Blog

What’s a pantser?

May 20, 2017
What is a pantser? Who are the famous panster authors? 


What is a pantser? Who are the famous pantser authors?


What is a pantser? Who are the famous panster authors? 

A panster is a writer who doesn’t plot when writing their novels, I wrote a blog post about outlines, link over here: basic-outlines-methods I have tried both methods to experiment; I wrote my thriller novel by outlining, where I wrote a basic summary of how the story will progress, including the ending. I didn’t write a ridiculous 100-page outline, that’s half my book or, maybe I’m lazy and want to get started right away. My outline was a modest 2 pages.

The thing that annoyed me was if I got a new idea, I had to add it to my outline. Some say it prevents the famous writer’s block. I still got writer’s block, but it wasn’t because I couldn’t write, but because I didn’t know how to write court scenes in my novel. I wanted those scenes to be as real as possible. I had to do my research by watching movies, Google, and asking around.


What is a pantser? Who are the famous panster authors? 

What is a pantser?


I wrote the rest of the pile of manuscripts that are gathering dust by pantsing. When I started writing, which was sixteen years ago, I didn’t know what an outline was. This method is making stuff as you along. I don’t believe this though, because the story is already plotted in your head, it’s just not put on to pen and paper. The downside to this is the possibility you’ll leave something out.









One of the most famous pantsers are Stephen King this what he had to say about plotting;


What is a pantser?




“Outlines are the last resource of bad fiction writers who wish to God they were writing masters’ theses.”





Another famous Panster is Margret Atwood, she wrote the dystopian masterpiece “The Handmaids Tale.”


What is a pantser?


“When I’m writing a novel, what comes first is an image, scene, or voice. Something fairly small. Sometimes that seed is contained in a poem I’ve already written. The structure or design gets worked out in the course of the writing. I couldn’t write the other way round, with structure first. It would be too much like paint-by-numbers.”




There is no right or wrong. Some writers swear by plotting and encourages writers to outline every inch of their lives. I think writers especially those who are just getting started, should see what works for them.


Keep in mind, not of all readers are writers and the book goes in so many revisions before it’s published (this applies for self-published authors too) not even writers would tell how the first draft was made. I would never have guessed Margaret Atwood nor Stephen King pants their books. Its a matter of growing as a writer.


Happy Writing xx

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