5 August 2013

WRITING A BOOK - Are You An Outliner or a Pantser?

I’d have to say that I’m a Pantser at heart.  I start working from an initial idea and see where it takes me.  Having said that however, and because I write murder/mysteries, I do keep a time line of all my characters so that I can see where they were when the murder(s) happened.  And because I’m writing a series, I also keep a character table to remind me of my continuing characters specific details.  It doesn’t do for their hair to change colour or suddenly lose 100 pounds between page 20 and page 184.

Being a Pantser, though, can lead to problems.  I’m sure I’m not alone when I say that, when I start out writing a book, I know the beginning of my story and I know the end BUT I haven’t got a clue what happens in the middle.

And that’s why, when I came across this web site, Easy Novel Outline, I decided to give outlining a try.  It’s also the most interesting explanation on outlining a book that I’ve found and that's why I decided to share it with you.

So, you ask, what were my results?  Well, in the end I’m now convinced that I am a Pantser, but having said that, I think there is a place for some outlining in my writing process.  I say that because after following the eight steps set out in this website, I found that it helped me to gather my thoughts that up until then had been dancing around in my brain, and put them into some coherent order, the effect being that I was able to see my way forward.

 Are you an outliner, a pantser, or a bit of both?

Comment moderation has been enabled so your comment will not appear immediately.


  1. Interesting post Jill! I must be a pantser, I never outline and have no idea where an idea is going to go once I start putting it down on paper. Quite often that leads straight to the trash can, so it might help to begin with some sort of outline. I'll have to check out Easy Novel Outline. Thanks for the info.

    1. I'm sure you'll find it an interesting exercise, Anna, along with all the other information on that site. Best Wishes, Jill