In the early days of flying with minimal instruments and low technology people were said to fly by the seat of their pants.
The writing equivalent of that is a Pantser, someone who starts their writing in a non-technical way i.e. without a plan or outline.
The opposite of a pantser is an Outliner, someone who creates at least a basic outline before they create any content.
An outline can range from a brief outline of the book, to a detailed outline that covers considerable detail of every chapter. The extreme form an outliner is an author who writes a detailed plan or outline of the entire book first.
There are different views as to which is better, to be a pantser or an outliner. Some people cannot work without a structure in the form of an outline. Others feel, often quite strongly, that an outline suffocates creativity.
When I started my debut romance novel Not Too Old for Love I didn’t know about pantsers or outliners. So, I started with no more than a basic concept. Without realizing it I was a pantser. There is no doubt this allowed full flow of my creativity. But at the same time, it meant things took a lot longer and much work had to be rewritten or dumped.
Although I want my novels to be easy reading I do not want them to be hard to write or for much time and work to be wasted. Therefore, it is unlikely that I will be a pantser for my next novel. However, I am unlikely to become an outliner fanatic and will probably start with a basic outline and flesh it out as the novel develops.
How do you work? Are you a pantser or are you and outliner. If an outliner, then to what extent?
SHARE YOUR APPROACH and talk about what works for you.