Pantsers, plantsers,and planners: Which category I fall into and how I get my Write on during NaNoWriMo

November is National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). During the entire month of November, writers from around the world virtually come together, to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This is my third year participating in NaNoWriMo, and I have learned that there are three types of NaNo-ers, and I personally fall into two of these categories. Let me explain what I mean.


Pantsers, are writers who simply write their novels, with no outline or notes to use as a guide. They simply write their stories “by the seat of their pants”, as it were. I wrote The Apple Wheel back in 2014 that way. My first NaNo novel was inspired by a dream, and I signed up for the challenge just two days before it began at midnight on November 1.


Plantsers, are writers who losely plan their stories, by noting down general scene ideas, while pantsing the rest of their story during NaNoWriMo. I have become a plantser, using the scene notes I wrote back in September and October of 2015, as a rough guide, yet allowing my characters to drive the story.


Planners are the writers who use outlines and do their research ahead of time, so they have a more tightly woven guide to follow, although the outline may not be actually set in stone. I personally don’t see myself as a full planner, though as a Plantser, I dabble a little with scene ideas.

Now that I’ve described the three NaNo categories, which type of writer are you, a pantser, a plantser, or a full fledged planner? I’d be interested to read your answers in the comments below.

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