My Life as a Pantser

pantserby Maria Cox

In my early teens when I began writing, I didn’t even know there were different styles of writing. As a young woman, I was just thrilled with the idea of world building; I had the power to change a person’s fate with a few simple keystrokes and that fascinated me.

As the years went by and more responsibilities were piled onto my plate writing became secondary soon I’d stopped writing altogether. It wasn’t until just a few years back that I delved into the world of fiction again employing the only process I’d ever known, the make-it-up-as-you-go-along technique.

When I set out to create my first short story Captive I started with nothing but a blank Word document and the hero’s voice in my head. The plot and supporting characters would emerge during the course of that first draft.

My initial attempt at this short story didn’t go well as plot lines were changed and added along the way. The second and third manuscript drafts were just slightly better. But, the more I wrote, and rewrote the more Captive began to resemble a cohesive storyline.

Most pantsers will tell you that allowing our imaginary friends to direct the course of a book is the most exciting aspect of the writing process. Pantsers might also tell you that this technique can be as equally frustrating.

I’ve tried plotting in the past but the process didn’t feel natural, so I reverted back to my pantser ways. When stricter guidelines became a way of life I knew I had to follow a more structured path so I decided to give the plotting ‘thing’ another try.

Planning and outlining is a departure from the spontaneity and can be a bit dull, but bottom line, plotting makes me far more productive.

I’m an exploratory writer at heart, but with continued practice I hope to get much better at this plotter thing.

Please visit me at

Thank you, Maria


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s