Hold Onto Your Panties! A Pantster Is On The Loose!

Hold Onto Your Panties, People! A Pantster Is On The Loose!

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

Yes. You heard right. I… am a pantster.

An elusive breed of writer who lays track without really knowing where they’re going?

Well… not exactly.

My blog and website’s About Kat page, gives you clues about why I write the way I do.
{thinks you should read my About Kat page…highly stimulating…laughs}

But, the nuts and bolts of it?

I’m a recovering Type A personality. Anal retentiveness, OCD, and perfectionism… Oh. My. You think I want anything to do with plotting, planning, and outlining like plotters do? Hell. No.

In mid 2010, lighting struck in the middle of the night, as my creativity tends to do, and I started writing. By hand. In a notebook. With a pen. I had no idea until I’d finished that manuscript that I wrote as a pantster. Although, when I found out, I smirked. What a perfect description for unruly and slightly naughty me. {laughs}

What’s it like to write like a pantster?

Well, for me, it’s like a movie reel begins to roll. Action. Dialogue. Tension. It’s all there. The scenes unfold for me, and I’m writing by the seat of my pants trying to download everything as it flies by in my mind. At the beginning, and for a good part during the story, I have no idea what’s going to happen next. To me? The unfolding of the mystery makes the process of writing an adventure ride like no other.

Of course, when I begin, I do have a basic idea of where I’m going. I have a hero and heroine and a setting. I’ve already decided in my head their personalities and the challenges they’ll face coming together. And, I do write romance, so I know they’ll end up together in the end. It’s the exact path they take, which turns they’ll make along the way, and who or what will hijack them in the process that I have to discover as I travel the path along with them.

The advantages to being a pantster:

  • My need for a creative outlet is satisfied. The moment a story idea sprouts, I sit down and let my fingers fly. There are no writing “structures” slowing me down.
  • My drafting speed is super-hero fast. I’ve typed drafts of over 100,000 words, only a few hours a day, in two to three months.
  • I can’t wait to write. Every. Single. Time. Because I don’t know what’s going to happen in any given writing block, I’m like a kid on Christmas morning, vibrating in excitement to be able to write.

The dis-advantages to being a pantster:

  • An outline and basic character/prop guide is a must on the re-write. One to three summary lines per chapter is helpful on when I go back in to polish the piece. The outline serves as a reference to be able to insert scenes or add character depth where needed. It also ensures I’m going from beginning to end in the best way possible.
  • Re-write of the draft takes MUCH longer than a plotter (or so I’ve heard.) Sometimes, I’m re-writing whole scenes because the chapter opened wrong. Occasionally, that results in having to tweak the whole chapter to make it flow right.
  • No shower is sacred anymore. {sighs} Showering has become a group event for me. I don’t know if it’s all the hot water and lathering, or the acoustics of the tile surround, but my mind seems to become a receiver for ideas I’ve been knocking about in my head. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve dashed out of the shower, soaking wet, towel barely draped around me, as I fly across the house to my computer to get the New-York-Times-Best-Seller-List-Worthy scene out of my head.

Even though there are a few disadvantages to being a pantster, I wouldn’t do it any other way. I thoroughly enjoy the longer time it takes to re-write. I even edit on a micro-level like a pantster, only on the second time around, I let a good dose of my perfectionism seep into the manuscript. The feeling of pride about what I create makes that slow-and-steady combination worthwhile.

The bottom line for me? Every single time I write, I’m having a blast. And, I whole-heartedly believe…

If you aren’t having fun, you’re doing it wrong.

Be sure to follow my blog to see what adventures this pantster is up to next. And, if I were you, I’d hold onto those panties tight. Any time I’m around, they are at serious risk.
Or…like I sometimes do… go commando. {winks}

Happy writings and readings, everyone!

Kat Bastion

© 2012 by Kat Bastion

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