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NaNo: The Pantser Way

No your eyes do not deceive you, the image is very much upside down. Why you ask? Or didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you anyway. It's because that's how off kilter I feel at the idea of planning.

Photo source:

That is me. I, Meka James, am a Pantser. There I said it.

I made a list of goals at the beginning of 2017 and participating in NaNo is on that list. If you've been on social media sites, you know NaNo is a big deal. Every where you look you see people doing blog posts, twitter chats, whatever all in preparation for November. If you are to believe what you see on most outlets, planning is the ONLY way to go. 

But is it really??

I've only completed two books. I write other for fun stories. The one thing they have in common? The lack of a plan. Now, admittedly I am a #turtlewriter. Would planning my work help me write faster? Not sure. However, that was my initial hope when I got the oddball idea to attempt to (there I got it out) my NaNo project. 

When I first got the idea, like with my other stories, the characters took a minute to form in my head then they started talking to me in spurts. A few random scenes here and there as I got to know them. Nothing major just little peeks. However, is the spirit, of "planning" I attempted one day to sit and organize ideas and plot points into some sort of "outline." IT. DID. NOT. GO. WELL.

My characters revolted. Pitchforks were brought out. Hell, they still aren't speaking to me over my audacity to attempt tell them what to do. 

So here we are just days before THE BIG EVENT. And I have exactly five plot points that probably won't even make it into the novel simply because my characters are assholes and they would screw things up out of spite. 

Not to mention, just trying to think ahead, sucked the life out of me. Seriously, I hated having to do outlines in school. I never grew out of that. I made a post on twitter about it. Wonderful people replied with words of encouragement, assuring me that it would work out and I'd be happy at the end when it was all plotted and ready to go. At the time of that tweet I had four plot points, so that means I only added one. Pretty sure...math is my my strong suit.

As a proud pantser, plotting goes against my writing nature. Or hell, my nature in general, because I struggle to plan most anything in life. My poor kids...for them though, I make it work. 

If you've made it this far, and are hoping for some sort of amazing insight...I got nuthin'. Sorry. Well not completely nothing. Best I can offer goes with a blog post I did in September. 

I started stressing as the days of October ticked by and I was no better prepared for NaNo than the day before. Finally I just had to admit to myself that my plan is no plan. That's who I am, that's how I roll. Trying to do something different because everywhere around me told me I should didn't work and it made me less excited about the idea of typing like a mad woman for 30 days. Because I should totally be excited about that.

So there you have it. If you're like me, and have no plan. ROCK THAT SHIT! We can do this!

Until next time


  1. I'm always fascinated to read other people's perspectives on the whole pantsing vs. planning debate. I'm a natural pantser, but find things work better if I do at least a little bit of planning up front.

    1. Everyone does things their own way. Having an idea of what you want to happen in the story makes sense. I have a loose plan, but trying to sit down and plot out all the points, I don't work that way. I could have tried harder, but I didn't fight it.

      thanks for stopping by


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