The Big Reveal

Welcome to the Big Reveal

I enjoy reading author interviews, but often times they don’t ask the kinds
of questions I wonder about. So I’ve assembled a group of writers at all levels, from un-agented to published, and every week I will have a new question for them.


Pantser, Plannner or in-between?

Valerie Cole, Agented Author
Hello, my name is Valerie and I’m a pantser. Or at least a pantser who is desperately trying to reform myself into a planner. It’s not working very well, so I guess I’m aiming for something in between. I usually draft a rough outline, but once I start writing I try to put it aside and let all the good pantsy magic happen. It’s becoming really apparent how important planning is…especially because I can’t get away with just writing kissing and flirting scenes while sprinkling plot in between anymore.

Jay Bendt, Un-agented Author
I’m an in-between type of writer. While I write mostly for fun, I have tried going by the seat of my pants before and it always crashes and burns into the deep abyss of unfinished failures. I get stuck in the swamp if I have no idea where I’m going with a story; I have to have at least a vague idea of what’s going to happen next. I will often write the big keypoints; find ways to tie relationships and plots as best as I can so that there are no giant holes in the dark for me to wander into, and know how my story will end. I don’t plan everything out line by line, though, because then it can take the joy of letting the story develop out of it for me.


Lara Schiffbauer, Un-agented Author
I think I remain an in-between type of writer, leaning a little more toward plotter. I plotted out the Age of Stars, and really liked how easy it was to actually write because the logistics were all worked out ahead of time.


Mark Koopmans, Un-agented Author
Panster and loving it 🙂
(But do check in with me post WIP #2… and we’ll see where I stand 🙂


Eileen Cook, Published Author
I was born a panster, but have developed into a bit of a plotter. I can’t have too much detail in the outline or I can grow bored with the story before I’ve written it. The outline for me is a very general map, it gets me the bulk of the way to my destination- but not all the way. I have to leave some of the adventure fo the writing process.


Kelley Lynn, Pre-published Author
Panster, all the way. Sometimes to the frustration of my collab partners. Though I will admit that my panstering used to be extreme. After writing with others it is slightly less so.


Chloe Banks, Agented Author
It makes me very un-cool and uncreative, but I could NOT be a pantser. I have to have a clear idea where I’m headed. However, once I’ve got the idea, I feel perfectly free to wander away from it. I don’t often know exactly what’s going to happen at the end, just some of the major points along the way. I let my characters dictate the plot once they’ve got going, I just need that safety net to fall back on!

Pantser, Planner or In-betweener?

3 Responses

  1. I started as a pantser, but I’m trying to do some planning. I don’t outline anything ahead of time, but I’ve got ideas written down. But that’s about it. I usually go in without having a timeline and may adjust along the way. Or I may not know the ending. So I guess I’m still more of a pantser than planner.

  2. I start with an idea and just go with it. Like chess, I try to plan a few moves ahead. But a lot of times even that changes as I’m writing. My characters end up changing, developing, and the things I originally planned for them no longer work because their actions and reactions don’t suit. So . . . I just go with the flow. And then revise, revise, revise.

  3. I’m a total pantser. I’ve tried to reform into a plotter, but it just doesn’t work for me. I need to discover as I go. I can have an overarching plan, but details-and even how to get to the end, can mess me up. Hi, my name is Robin and I am a pantser:D I heavily revise, but 1st drafts come pretty quickly.

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