Panster Revealed

It’s so funny how humans never cease to come up with new terms to describe things. Recently, I learned that I am in fact a panster, at least when writing creatively. You see, I spend most of every day planning: planning what to eat, planning where to drive, what to teach the kids, what to do at work, etc. Even my main job involves planning to ensure everything is done on time. I also write technical documents about how to follow process, which, of course, involves more planning.
So after spending so much time planning or plotting, if you prefer, my brain must have been crying out for some release. Well, a lot, considering how much I’ve written on the fly over the past seven years. Once I pushed the kind of stress that choked out creativity away, the characters took up residence and haven’t stopped talking, except when I feebly attempt to turn off the muse source. That’s tough because I have many.

What makes things more adventurous is when I reread what I’ve written to discover the revision involves additional opportunity to let the fingers write what the characters dictate. Even if I don’t like what they did, I am unable to change the course of their bounded lives. I am only allowed to correct details that don’t match reality, and even then, I only do so with stories that don’t contain a fantastical element. Yes, the characters seem to rule sometimes. Sounds funny, right? Strange even, but that’s pretty much what happens. Who can relate to this? I know I’m not the only one, since I’ve already skimmed half-a-dozen articles about it.

So, there it is. My admission that I am a technical plotter turned creative panster. Let the fun begin.


  1. I am such the pantster, Cassandra, that I marvel that I ever finish anything. Like you, I like to plan things. When I try to plot any of my stories, the characters become obstinate and refuse to do what I had set out for them to do. I'm so excited about my new WIP. LOL I can't stand it. I can't wait for someone to read it and give me feedback. LOL


  2. My characters have totally taken over my WIP. I am staggered really about what they have in mind. Totally against my original scheme. But in daily life I plan, plan, plan. I can so relate to what you are saying.