As a young buck (erm, young writer I mean) I thought outlining was just for scholars and essays and all that red tape stuff. 

Who knew outlining applied to novels as well.

Since I discovered outlining was used for novels (and wasn’t as boring and tedious as it is for essays) I have started outlining.

Some things. Some things I just write, some I outline, some I outline partially. I just feel what I need to write the story and go from there. 

But anyway. I do like to “pantst” my way through writing.

Pantsing. Writing by the seat of your pants. I think is sometimes looked down upon, because it isn’t necessarily the most efficient way to get things done, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work. 

Here’s what I have found are the best things to do to make sure writing by the seat of your pants is successful.

plant1

You have to know what you are getting yourself into. 

Editing may be more difficult because you’ll be changing more stuff. You won’t have a plan for those days when you have no inspiration. Know that before you go into it.

plant2

Don’t worry about changing things as you go. 

Since you are making things up as you go, you may get better ideas, or new ideas that contradict old ones. Don’t be afraid to use them. Every time you write, it needs to be what you want the story to be right now. Not what you wanted yesterday, not what you wanted last week.

Right now. 

plant3

You can use outlining. 

It’s ok to think ahead and plan. Sometimes I’ll outline the chapter ahead, maybe two chapters. Sometimes it’s because I have so many ideas, sometimes it’s because I’m stuck

plant4

You have to be just as disciplined. 

Just because you are writing what you feel like writing, doesn’t mean you can write only when you feel like it. Still have a goal. Still keep to a schedule

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plotter and pantser

 

Header Photo by Kiki Siepel on Unsplash

One thought on “How to Write By the Seat of Your Pants

  1. This kind of reminds me of choreographing. I will either plot my choreo and write down formations, do research, look up things… or it’s by the seat of my pants and I’m making it up in class experimenting with my students or based on their improv.

    Like

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