Pantsters: I have Questions

  1. What, if anything, do you know before you sit down to write your first chapter?
  2. Do you worldbuild/research before you start writing, or as you go?
  3. Do you outline a chapter or anything before you actually write it?
  4. Do you know the ending of your story before you start?
  1. I typically know the main part that’s going to happen, but I never know how I’m going to start or progress.
  2. I worldbuild and research as I go, always.
  3. For one book, yes, but that’s not typical for me. I outline as I go along, but it never stays the way I want it to. I always end up changing/discarding the outlining
  4. Not the complete ending, no. Just one part of it, but I never know how to get there or how I’m closing it off until I get there.
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Thanks so much for the response. :smile:

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  1. I have a vague idea of what I want to write about. For example, in my novel, Dancing With Keenan, I knew that I wanted to write a romance that started with a former couple that meets again when my main character fills in for the lead singer of a band.

  2. It depends on the book. Sometimes, I need to do some research just to get the book off the ground. Others, I don’t do any research until I come across something that I don’t already know.

  3. No. I cannot write from outlines. Some people prefer to use outlines, but for me, they just cause confusion and make the writing process much more difficult. I just write what comes to me, and then when I rewrite the book, I use the original draft as a sort of guide to what needs to happen when.

  4. Sometimes. It really depends on the book. Sometimes, I have it in my mind from the very start exactly how I want the ending to go, but others, I don’t decide that until I get to the end.

  1. I know the general idea of the scene I want to write, and what kind of story I want to write. I’ve got the characters I want to write ready to go, and a general sense of what the story is about.
  2. At least for me, I do the worldbuilding/research as I go along. I wouldn’t suggest doing that if you’re writing a story with a really detailed world, like a sci-fy or fantasy world, unless you’re one of those blessed people with super strong memories and can just bring up the ideas in your head like that.
  3. No, I don’t. I might write down spontaneous ideas for chapters throughout the day as they come to me, but I’ve never been able to outline a full chapter.:laughing: Why? Because I’ve tried outlining, and what happens is, I just start writing the book. It just comes to me as I write, so outlining kind of hinders that for me.
  4. Sometimes I do, sometimes the idea for the end of the story comes during the middle of writing the story itself. I never expect it to come to me in the beginning cause I just started, you know?
  1. Who I want my mc to be as a person and the kind of story I want to tell, but not anything in detail.

  2. As I go. I really don’t know what I’m going to write that requires research until things get going.

  3. Nope. Sometimes I know what I’d like to hapoen in the next chapter, but I don’t plan anything out.

  4. Not at all. Ideas for endings come to me as I write.

I do the same thing with drafts. It’s like you’ve written the book, and all you have to do is just fix, delete or add some things. So much easier than making outlines! :laughing:

I’m not a pantser at heart but I did pants my WiP.

1. What, if anything, do you know before you sit down to write your first chapter?

Almost nothing. I knew a few things about my main character (occupation and personality) and I knew I wanted a love interest. I also knew a little about how I wanted the magic system to work.

2. Do you worldbuild/research before you start writing, or as you go?

I’m making up everything up as I go along. And it’s probably obvious.

3. Do you outline a chapter or anything before you actually write it?

Nope.

4. Do you know the ending of your story before you start?

I’m 10-12 chapters away from the end, and I still don’t know how it’s going to end. I’m not worried though. I have everything under control. This is a lie. I’m freaking out.

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Usually nothing. Sometimes I have a sentence, scene, concept or idea for a character. Usually it’s just one scene or image that kicks everything off.

As I go. Usually I have no idea what kind of world I wanna write about before I’m like 10k words into the WIP. So I leave worldbuilding and descriptions pretty blank up until then.

That’s the opposite of what a panster is. No, pantsers generally don’t outline anything. Some outline like the whole thing but it’s super vague. Some are plantsers and plan the plot points of the book but pants everything in between.

Never.

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I heavily plan most stuff, but my current project is mostly pantster lol.

  1. I have to at least know my main characters, general world, and have an idea of where I want the story of plot to go. That can all be really vague, but I have to have something to work with.

  2. I research and worldbuild as I go. When not planning ahead I really don’t know what exactly I’ll need to worldbuild or research until I hit a point I go “Oh, crap, wait what is this again?”

  3. Honestly even on my planned stuff I cannot be bothered to outline chapters lmao. I typically have a tab (scrivener user lol) where I’ll throw down ideas, and scattered scenes I’m worried I’ll forget or want to include, but that’s less an outline and more of a “hey throw this specific set of sentences in somewhere or make this happen eventually”.

  4. I tend to have at least a general idea. Like, with the current project I know they’re going to get together and it’s going to be a happy ending. Pretty much every other part of that can change lol. I’ll figure it out when I get there.

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I’ve heard of the “flashlight method” for pantsters, but idk if people actually do that.

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  1. I typically know the main concept. I have a premise that helps me start writing.
  2. I world build as I go, though I usually have my names picked out before-hand for my made-up stuff.
  3. It depends on the chapter. If it needs outlining before I start then I will outline, but usually I just write whatever comes to mind.
  4. Sometimes. Again, it depends on the story if I know the ending or not. I like to have the main concept at least before I actually start writing.
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The what now? :sweat_smile:

I’m no expert, but it means you jot down mini outlines for what comes next as you go? Like just what you could see with a flashlight? I think…

Oooh, yeah I can’t even do that. If I get anywhere close to planning then all my motivation for the book just disappears. So many books have died because I planned ahead and then lost interest (’:

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  1. i know basic plot, and where it begins
  2. I worldbuild to have setting, but it may change as I go
  3. I outline the chapters as to where they are supposed to end, so like getting through a scene.
  4. I like to know the end before I start.
  • I also write at least 3 chapters ahead before publishing to minimize changes to published work
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  1. What, if anything, do you know before you sit down to write your first chapter?

I usually have a vague idea of the direction I want the story to go at least, maybe major plot points mapped out.

  1. Do you worldbuild/research before you start writing, or as you go?

As much as I can for things that I know will play a major part in the book. Then anything I miss I research as I go.

  1. Do you outline a chapter or anything before you actually write it?

I never outline the chapter, but I do an overall outline of the book before I start writing it, then throw it all out the window when I end up deviating from it anyway.

  1. Do you know the ending of your story before you start?

Yes, vaguely. Just not how I am going to get there.

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  1. What, if anything, do you know before you sit down to write your first chapter?
    typically when I start writing I’ve had some amazing brain wave about something I think will be a cool scene or moment in a story. typically it’s nothing major and would end up being a snipit of an actual story. but it’s the basis.
  2. Do you worldbuild/research before you start writing, or as you go?
    not usually. I’ll do research if needed along the way.
  3. Do you outline a chapter or anything before you actually write it?
    never. I’m terrible at losing my train of thought while writing a scene/chapter which means I go back a lot so I do recommend outlining beforehand.
  4. Do you know the ending of your story before you start?
    for common for me is knowing the ending before. usually I get an idea of what will happen in the very end (or close to it) before or during the early stages of starting (within the first 2 chapters)
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:slight_smile:

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I usually know the MC and their name and at least where the book is head. It might be as vague as “She kills the super baddy with kindness” or more detailed like “She’ll take the staff of blahness and smite the evil doer into the forgotten land of flufftonia”

If it’s needed. For a first draft I honestly don’t worry about research too much just because it would just slow me down. If I reach a point where I know I don’t have instant knowledge, then I’ll do a very quick and basic search to get through it. I mostly wait because if it’s a first draft who knows if that item is still in teh book come a final draft, so I just want something basic to get me through.

Nope. There is a rate occasion where I’ll get toward the end and I’ll see the exact ending in my head so I’ll make some quick bullet points of items to cover, but that’s not until the end.

Basically answered this in the first question LOL But I will say my endings in mind at the start aren’t always the ending I’ll get simply because they will adapt and change as the story needs it to change.

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