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I'm A Pantser On Rehab

When I was in college, I would always submit my papers and my creative writing works at the very last minute. Sometimes I’d even go a little bit over, so the papers would then be drenched in tears and saliva. Tears naturally came from me, and the saliva came from my professors yelling at me to get out. However, once they've read my papers-- and I kid you not-- their opinion of me turn 180 degrees. Impressed, my classmates would ask me for my outlines, something I cannot produce. Because let's face it-- when you partied all week and put off writing your paper until a couple of hours before the deadline, you've got no time for no outline, girl!

Combined with my excessive absences, and still passing the goddam courses, I believe some of my peers thought I was just a badass rebel. (Or lazy. I think that was the recognized consensus.)

In truth, I was just a PANTSER.

But what is a "pantser?" According to the different sites that Google provided upon search, A pantser is a writer who writes instinctively or spontaneously. Basically, people who don't got time to plot, outline, or write on paper, beybee! (Yeah, that's me right there.)

By no means are these lazy people. I know several who have written numerous novels and screenplays on the fly. Some of them finish with just their phone while riding the BART on their way to work. That's just how they're minds are wired. (I recognize that this may be a bad example, but I'm sticking with it.)

But when your teacher, professor, or mentor insist that you sit down and you plot-- there's a big chance you'd hit a road block. Like me. These educators taught me a hundred different ways to plot: The Three Act Structure; The Twelve Step Outline; The Step or Bloc Movements, to name a few. But nothing brought out the brilliance in me than a looming deadline and two liters of caffeine. The more I forced myself to plot, the more I broke.

Now that I'm no longer obligated to a timeframe, the motivation had waned in droves. The splendor of this Pantser had dwindled into insignificance.

So I'm re-learning the hundred different ways of plotting I was taught. Maybe now that I have matured a bit, I'd be able to execute what I understood from all those classes I didn't attend.

And maybe then, this will be the last time I'd be pantsing.  

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