At a recent gathering of writing friends, the topic of planner vs pantser came up.
I declared that I used to call myself a pantser (a person who writes by the seat of their pants according to the whims of the day), but I learned that I needed to add in a little more planner (a person who plots out stories in advance) to get things done.
For more on this, I recommend Story Genius: How to Use Brain Science to Go Beyond Outlining and Write a Riveting Novel (Before You Waste Three Years Writing 327 Pages That Go Nowhere) by Lisa Cron.
One man in the group had never heard these expressions. He asked for clarification. “Did you just say planner vs pouncer? Because that’s what I do. A thought occurs to me and I pounce on it.”
How wonderful! He added a third element to the conversation, one that both planners and pantsers can embrace.
For example, careful planners who are stuck at a story plot point might take a walk for inspiration. While strolling their eyes might fall on something that triggers the solution to their next step. Ah ha! They would cry as they pounce on the idea, hurry home and add into their overall plan.
Freewheeling pantsers might sit with fingers on keys or pen hovering over paper. Open to receiving as they are, a thought—the genesis of an idea—arrives to them from the Amazing Mystical Universal Supply of Ideas and they pounce.
Are you a planner or a pantser? Even if you’re not a writer, have you pounced on any good ideas lately?