I am a pantser. Unlike with Google Maps, my destination is superfluous. I don’t need to know where I’m going when embarking on a writing adventure—just need to write.
“Put the damn pencil to paper, and everything else will take care of itself!” I tell myself. “Just enjoy the ride.” As a runner, I found the biggest hurdle is to lace ‘em up and step out the door. Breathe, absorb, and be creative—just write!
That’s who I am. Other writers identify with the plotter method or ideology. They know the ending before they put a mark on paper—the entire book is outlined and structured beforehand. They develop the characters before meeting them! Impossible—for me! They know every step of the journey prior to writing the first chapter—doesn’t seem like much fun—more like a job—unless you’re writing a dissertation or a recipe book. Paint-by-numbers is not my cup of tea—besides, my wife, a very talented and creative artist, would disapprove!
Sure, I make notes of ideas—even when the thoughts come to me at four in the morning. But, for me, writing fiction is an adventure that must be experienced, a journey into the unknown. I meet and develop the characters on the way—we get to know each other throughout the process. Some are antagonists; others are my friends and teammates—but how would I know that before we converge?
As to the story—how do you know what will happen before you turn the corner?
You don’t—impossible—that’s the enjoyment of fiction. I, as an author, take this journey with my protagonist—I am with him/her every second. I experience what they experience—feel their pain, their horror, their love. It’s a blast—I get surprised, startled. How did I arrive here? —just happens naturally.
I’m never sure how my characters will react to conflicts, drama or love—how the fuck could I know beforehand? When you’re a pantser, you experience the journey—with the characters, getting involved with their needs, fears, and desires.
For me, it’s the only way to go!
My novel, Altered State of Affairs, is available on Amazon.