What The Hell Is A Pantser?

I know, I know. You’re wanting me to start the recaps of Jem and the Holograms. Well, too bad. Today I feel like talking about something else.

November is only a few short days away. Guess what that means?

…Besides turkey comas and non-stop Christmas specials?

November isn’t just that month that gets you panicked for Christmas. It’s also National Novel Writing Month, which is a thing some people started to help promote literacy. You can check out their site here but basically, what you do is you sign up and agree to TRY to write 50,000 words starting on November 1st and ending at midnight on November 30th.

Fifty THOUSAND.

That’s a lot of words. And you’re not the only one who thinks so.

Everyone who has helped organize the event agree that you’d have to be insane it’s a crazy goal to attempt. Even though a lot of people will sign up, they don’t think many will finish. But like with most marathosn, finishing isn’t really the goal. The point is just to get you to start writing because apparently, despite all the blogs and fanfiction, there is just not a lot of literacy going on in the world today. And really, with crap like Twilight being a bestseller, I kinda have to agree.

Not that I’m completely hating on Twilight. I have succumbed to the crack that Stephanie Meyer has been dishing out to lonely, heartbroken women and teenage girls.

It’s quite possibly the worst written thing ever, but, if you’ve ever been one of those people who falls head over heels in love and then builds up a romance in your head that the real relationship can in no way realistically match, then you totally get where Meyers is coming from and you can fill in the gaps for yourself.

It's not stalking if they're you're soulmate...

What would I give to be where you are? What would I give to see you dancing? What I would I give to see you smiling at meeeee?

And it just got me thinking, if she can write that piece of crap and become a millionaire, why can’t I?

Did you know JK Rowling (the chick who invented Harry Potter) was on foodstamps when she started writing The Sorcerer’s Stone? I’m on foodstamps too!!

Although, truth be told, I don’t think I’m as good a writer as JK Rowling. She’s good with action, character development, combining magic and mystery into a realistic environment, and…you know…plot.

I’m most definitely on the same plane as Stephanie Meyers (I even copy and pasted some writing samples on iwl.me to make sure). I can:

  • make up characters that stand around and talk about how much they love/hate each other. Or how sad and heartbroken they are. Or how they can’t stop thinking about the person that they love/hate so much and it makes them feel so sad and heartbroken.
  • Use the word murmur repeatedly. 
  • And, I’m really good at writing run-on sentences and/or sentence fragments and pretending that it’s poetic license because really, I’m trying to portray a stream of consciousness and nobody thinks in grammatically correct sentences. (Right? I know I don’t.)

One thing that I do have over Stephanie Meyer?

I like to pretend that I have a sarcastic, witty sense of humor. It comes across much better when I’m writing it out since nobody knows how long it took me to think of my snappy comebacks or offhand insults. It also helps if the subject I’m making fun of is being continuously insulted on a daily basis.

My point isn’t that I’m a better writer than Stephanie Meyer. (Although I totally think I am.) It’s that she is an actual paid author. She’s a millionaire.

Did you know she's mormon too?

Plus she gets to hang out with celebrities. Lame.

And it’s all because she wasn’t afraid to sit down and actually write all her stuff out.

Me?

I’m stuck rambling on the interwebz at 1 am to nine people who probably just clicked the link on my facebook page cuz they wanted to be wonderful, supportive, amazing friends. (And you totally are! Thank you!)

And I’m not getting paid for this.

Hence the food stamps.

Hence the reference to JK Rowling.

And hence the decision to sign up for NaNoWriMo.

Which leads me back to my original reason for writing this post.

What the hell is a Pantser?

Or better yet, who came up with that term?

Cuz all the NaNoWriMo blog entries and various other blogs about writing (like this one and this one) all mention Planners Vs. Pantsers. Which I totally wanted to see as like an epic battle between hipsters and people who ran around pantsing them…

She's so over small provincial towns...And I couldn't find any pictures of pantsers on Deviant Art...

But alas, it’s a boring battle. And while those blogs did have some helpful writing tips, there were a LOT of words and nowhere near enough pictures of Disney characters in amusing setups. I’m going to summarize:

  • Planners are people who are OCD with their writing. They have indepth character analysis, twenty page story outlines, extensive research notes on every single part of their story, and who know EXACTLY what they’re going to write as soon as they sit down.
  • Pantsers are people who “fly by the seat of their pants”. They get a random idea, sit down and kind of just write down whatever pops up in their head. They usually have a general idea of what they want, they just don’t know how they’re going to get there.
Still I think he's RATHER tasty..

I automatically think of Aladdin. Cuz you know how he's supposed to be keeping one jump ahead of the something or other?

I’m more of a pantser. And dude…I so do not want to end up like Aladdin…well, ending up like him would be fine. I mean he gets a palace, the love of his life, tons of money and gets to hang out with his friends all day…I just mean…you know, the part where he’s scrounging around for food and just trying to make it through the day without getting killed off by palace guards or seduced by plus sized women. All of which could be metaphors for random plot bunnies and poorly thought out written scenarios.

So maybe planning some stuff out would be a good idea…

And guess what? This blog entry was over 1000 words long! So hypothetically, all I have to do for NaNoWriMo is write about fifty more blog entries of about the same length.

In one month.

That sounds easy enough, right?

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6 thoughts on “What The Hell Is A Pantser?

  1. Stephen A. Watkins says:

    Ha! I noticed a trackback to an article I wrote about planning and pantsing… so I came here.

    I must apologize for the insufficient quantity of pictures of Disney characters in compromising situations on my blog. I am a bit of a Disney fanboy – not a huge one, but a bit of on – but I have a general lack of pictures of any kind on my blog. It’s a personal failing.

    Good luck on Nano.

    • sabby says:

      Thanks! I’m going to need all the luck I can get!

      Your blog was super helpful and informative! And I once I get a chance, I want to sit down and read through the rest of your entries because I think there’s a lot of stuff there that could help me be a much better, more focused writer. I don’t think the lack of pictures on your blog is a failing. I actually think it’s very smart because looking up all the artwork on Deviant Art was extremely distracting. (You would not believe how many Hipster Belles I had to choose from.)

      Also, you seem to have an attention span that lasts longer than ten minutes. Which, I think I remember having, once upon a time, and it was a good thing. But with a two year old who expects me to sing Disney songs on command, I have long since lost the ability to focus on any one thing for more than a few minutes. And I need lots of pictures and bright colors to get ideas to sink in now. Lol!

      I’m also really new to the whole blogging thing so I’m not sure exactly what the rule is for citing other peoples’ stuff. If I see helpful stuff (like your blog), then I put a link back to it but I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to give you a heads up or not. I’m glad you checked me out! Now there’s definitely one person who’s looked at my page that’s not from my facebook! 🙂

      Happy Writing!

      • Stephen A. Watkins says:

        Yes, the looking pictures up thing is exactly why I don’t regularly do that. I know the images make a blog more attractive – but it takes a long time to find suitable images to go with a post, and I don’t have time for that. I have a day job, an almost-two-year-old of my own, and other life stuff, so I fit writing in where I can, and there’s isn’t room in the time that’s left for a lot of picture-trolling.

        But I like it in the blogs that I read. I guess that makes me a tiny hypocrite, but it’s not a terrible thing to be a hypocrite about, I think.

        PS… the hipster Belle does work so well, doesn’t she?

      • Stephen A. Watkins says:

        Also, as for the blog-linking etiquette: typically a link is just fine, probably.

        Most blog platforms that I know of alert the blogger when someone links one of their articles (that’s how I saw that you had), so they’ll usually know if that happens.

        Myself, I often mention the blogger by name when I link them – that way in case someone doesn’t click the link they’ll still know whose ideas I’m working with or responding to. But I don’t know that it’s an etiquette rule to do that.

      • sabby says:

        Thanks SO much for the tips! I feel slightly less worried that someone will feel like I’ve plagiarized their work! Yay!

        I agree, Hipster Belle has so many uses! One day I may devote a whole entry just to hipster princesses but that’ll have to wait until after I catch up because as my darling friend Jaclyna pointed out, I have fallen behind.

        Le sigh.

        I suppose that is life for ya!

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