Don’t Assume You’re a Pantser

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Certainly not trying to dissuade anyone from pantsing if that is legitimately your thing, but hopefully this might help someone in the same way it helped me:

I just recently began my first earnest attempt at writing a novel and ran into some early success in a place I didn't expect: the outline. I've certainly thought about writing in the past, and have tried my hand several times at writing shorter stuff, and I always would have considered myself a pantser. Outlines always seemed like something tedious that I wouldn't even end up following.

Anyway, I was having trouble really narrowing down my story. I loved the idea, character, and big plot points, but that was always what my brain would gravitate to when trying to imagine the story.

I finally decided to have a go at a pretty simple outline (just numbering out the chapters and writing around a paragraph about what happens) and wow, total game changer. It feels like what I wanted that first draft to feel like as a pantser, like I'm really getting the story out for the first time. Because sure, I'm only writing a paragraph about the chapter, but in my head, the entire chapter is taking place.

So yeah, highly recommend if you think you're a pantser but never actually write, or if you have trouble coalescing your big ideas into one fluid story.

TL;DR – If you have trouble writing as a pantser, but don't like the idea of planning or outlining, imagine the outline as the first time you're telling the story. Play through the whole thing, chapter by chapter, in your head and just write some short paragraphs about each one to keep you on track.

Source: reddit post


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