on Fiction University:
When I first started writing, I didn’t know there was such groupings as pantsers and plotters. I wrote my first novel with an outline because that’s what I was taught in school. It was a miserable exercise in trying to make the story fit within a rigid set of lines (note: that manuscript is safely tucked away in the back of my office closet).
By the time I started on my second book, I’d been schooled on the free-wheeling ways of pantsers. This was a path to creative happiness that I could embrace. I opened Word, typed “Chapter 1,” and off I went. I followed whatever crumbs the characters left for me and man was it fun. Until I reached the end and realized there were more loose threads in that book than after my cat gets into my yarn stash (another note: that manuscript is keeping the other one company).
These days, if you ask me whether I’m a plotter or a pantser, I’ll respond that I’m a pantser with suspenders. Sounds like a painful wedgie in the making, doesn’t it? It’s not, trust me. And what’s more, the various “suspenders” I’ve come to rely on, have kept me from losing my pants and falling on my face on multiple occasions.