If you're a writer, then a pantser is something you’re familiar with. If you have a high school mentality, it probably means something completely different.
I am a pantser! I write my books flying by the seat of my pants. I can’t help myself. I’m not a plotter or a planner. I don’t have notebooks full of characterizations and details. I have my computer, my keyboard, and my one sticky note with names of characters for quick reference. The story unfolds in my head and I know where I want it to end. But as I write I’m taken on a journey and very often the characters go on their own journey I’d never intended.
For example, in MATCHMAKERS, Carissa was only supposed to be the force that kept Sophia and David apart. Little did I know she’d be the turning point for the entire book. And I will admit, when her mother showed back up pregnant, that just happened. Mandy jumped into that story and suddenly I had a subplot going. (Don’t know who they are? Read the book. Find it at Amazon in Kindle form.) But if I hadn’t let Carissa write her own story we would have missed out on some great twists and turns. I mean, if I would have plotted every detail, it certainly wouldn’t have been the same story. It didn’t weave the way I had it in my head, thank goodness and no one would have wanted a second book. And because Mandy broke into the first one, now there is a third book (which the publisher still promises to release.)
Oh I’ve tried to be more organized in my writing. I’ve tried the hour a day at the same time. I’ve tried note-cards, notebooks, and expensive software. I end up frustrated and itching to just write. I once had the opportunity to chat with Debbie Macomber and she spoke about her writing day. She has every scene mapped out in a notebook and on a calendar. She writes that much and goes home for the day. And because I love her and think she is one of the most amazingly sweet and wonderful women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting, I tried it. It lasted 3 minutes.
Like everything in the world, wouldn’t it be boring if we were all alike? Some people blush just thinking about reading a romance, others flock to buy it. Some like fast, fancy cars and others think the Smart Car is all that. For now, I’ll stick to my pantser way of life and try to keep the sticky note hanging in front of me. (Of course there are twenty of them at this moment because I’m working on so many projects.) And hopefully those who are open to new romances will flock my way! After all, that is the ultimate goal, right?
Happy Reading (and writing by the seat of your pants)