This where pantsing has gotten me. I'd say it's been pretty successful.

This where pantsing has gotten me. I’d say it’s been pretty successful.

After weeks of diligent outlining, and a pretty bad case of writer’s block, this morning on the way to work I finally got the breakthrough I needed. I can’t start writing until I find my way into the story, and finally it all fell into place.

Not a word of which was in the outline. Not the plot, not the events, not the scene that set the stage for the outlined novel, not the implications of these events, nor the impact they will have on the characters, changing them forever.

And so, the experiment is over. Once a pantser, always a pantser. I give myself credit for trying to outline, because I totally get the merits of the process. But I have to do what works for me, and I write my stories by the seat of my pants.

It’s good to know, actually. As I told a writer friend this morning, just because I’m the author doesn’t mean I know how it’s going to end. Nor do I want to know. That’s all the fun!

So outliners out there (and pantsers): what’s your experience? Can a writer change her spots?


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