The pantser. This is the sort of writer I am. I have always been this way as well. I used to feel a bit ashamed that I would never write outlines. That sense of insecurity has left me long ago.

For those who don’t know, a pantser is someone who writes “by the seat of their pants.” No outline; no plotting. You pick up a pen and paper or your laptop and you write. I have gone over the many different forms of inspiration I use but it all leads to this. Each art form or idea starts as a small seed in my mind. It grows as I throw different “what if” scenarios at it. If I do this enough and begin to write it, the new life takes form even more. 

Runner’s Rise started with a short story. I listened to the inspirational song and wrote. I finished the idea with a period but it did not end there. What if this was not the start of our story? What if this was a tipping point that made Heather realize her worth and ways to improve her team when she was not around? These and more started to form a larger narrative. The beginning was set. The final moment was somewhere in the fog. I sat at the computer and it became more clear with each word.

I will be the first to say, this is not the method for everyone. When writing this way, I have a clear direction. The structure of a story is mostly followed by slight deviations here and there. I tend to feel like I am meaner to my characters than most are. I want them to rise above it all though. The character needs to question whether this is really the path they want to pursue. Whether the goal is fame, treasure, pride, anything, is this suffering worth it.

This method of writing is completely acceptable. I have killed stories and novel ideas by outlining. When I look back and think about it, I believe this is because, to me, the story is written out. The outline fulfills the purpose of telling a story but in a bare-bones fashion. I have no reason to continue it.

I hope this helps you embrace whichever method works best for you as a writer. Keep in mind that no matter what way you go, there is always room to better your process and hone your skills. What method do you prefer or is your method a mixture of both? Happy writing!