Okay. Every time I think people will know what a planner vs a pantser is, I get a chorus of blank looks from my audience. Loud ones. So first I will define the terms.
A Planner is exactly that; a writer who meticulously plans out everything in their book before sitting down to write. This is a person who likes whiteboards, legal-size paper, outlining programs and 3×5 cards.
A Pantser is someone more casual-seeming, who prefers their writing to be by the ‘seat of their pants’ and who will saunter over to a keyboard and drop three thousand words while eating apples, listening to jazz – or whatever music suits the backdrop of their writing – sipping tea or wine and calling out to the kids to do their homework and bring in the cat.
These are of course, the two extremes. Reality and experience demonstrates that most writers operate on a spectrum between these two.
There’s a lot to be said for each approach, and I find that what my book project is and what point I’m at in it pretty much dictates my approach. I’ve been known to start as a Pantser, particularly during WriMo seasons. As I get into the story and plotlines and characters build up, I turn into more of a planner (although I make Notes, not Outlines) so that I can work out the kinks in ways that make sense.
So that’s me. What about you? Planner or Pantser?