To Pantz Or Not To Pantz by Karen Vaughan

To pantz or not to pantz

That is the question.

Whether it is nobler to suffer

The pains of outlining

Or fly by the seat of your pants

And write whats in your head

I have tried to outline stories that I write but I usually abandon the effort as it causes extreme anxiety.

I basically just go with what the characters say they want.  If that sounds schitzy then I am in the company of many authors who choose to go with the flow.

There is always the great debate between writers who will argue for organization and outlining or just letting it fly off the top of ones head.

I am arguing on the pantzing side of the argument.

I sat down to write DEAD ON ARRIVAL seven years ago. It was based on a warped dream I had. How do you outline a dream? You can’t, not really. Sure you can write down ideas based on the dream to flesh it out.

I find outlining makes me a slave to a rigid story. It doesn’t allow the characters to speak if the writer is not open minded in the plotting of the story.

I don’t get stuck if I let the characters drive the bus. They know what they want.
I also ask people who have read my series to let me use them or aspects of their personalities or I ask them for ideas for plots too.

I started as a pantser and I will end as one. I plot as I go and create and change as I go.

In Daytona Dead I changed one character from a bad-ass crooked cop who was totally unlikeable to someone who suddenly grew a spine and a conscience at the same time.

This wasn’t planned. The character basically stood up and told me he didn’t want to be a jerk anymore so I listened to him.


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