How to be a Pantser

The following is a guest post from A Coffee, A Camera, A Creative Dream.  Sarah is an amateur writer, NaNoWriMo participant, mutt and guinea pig protector, night owl, coffee addict, and all around random girl searching for her place.


That’s easy … you simply walk up to someone, and pull their pants down revelaing what is underneath. Usually this is done in a humorous fashion.

Wait…. No,… wrong kind of Pantser

In the writing world, a pantser is simply someone who writes by the seat of their pants. This is to say they don’t have a plot or other planning done before they start writing.

Now there are some simple steps to be a Pantser….

Step One – This is the most important step, especially in the month of Novemeber. Take your inner editor (you know that really annoying little voice in you that likes to correct your grammar mistakes, plot holes and continuity) and lock them away for a long while. They’ll be there when you’re done writing, but you don’t need them right now, so go ahead and do it.

Step Two – Have a vague idea. Maybe this is a plot point, a character, a setting, a genre, or a main event. It could even be a mixture of the above. Or really it could be simple as a cue word that you’re going to work from. Weather it’s a complex or simple idea, it’s in your head somewhere. And if not may I offer the following for suggestion: a missing ring, a raccoon, a stormy morning, young adult genre and/or they don’t live happily ever after.

Step Three – Just start writing! I mean it. Sit down at your computer (or if you’re old school, type writer, pen and paper, or maybe stone and chisel) and write. Don’t think about where it’s going just go for it. WRITE!

Step Four – Get some support (the NaNoWriMo Fourms are wonderful this) for when you’re stuck. Pick up a dare, adopt a character, go play on the off topic forum, it can help. Also have a writing buddy or two or seventeen who can cheer you on too.

And Step Five –  WRITE!!!! Just keep writing! If it doesn’t make sense, no worries! That’s what editing is for!

Now that you know how to be a Pantser, go and write something!

-SE