I was sitting at my computer reading my lesson for the day from my on line class. The teacher, Kerri Nelson, asked us this very question. Are we plotters or pantsers? The term plotter is pretty self explanatory. It is a person who sits down before they write their story and plots the book out. Notes upon notes of how they want the story to go. They may do this on the computer or in a note book but they devote time and energy into figuring out how they want their story to go.
A person who is a pantser is someone who writes by the seat of their pants. They don't plot anything out, though they will jot done notes as needed. It's called free writing and this is the kind of writer I am. I write as the ideas flow into me. I have an idea of where I want my story to go at all times, but the meat of the story comes to me as I go.
Of course I do my research ahead of time, but there is always more research to be done as an idea hits me. That is what I use my notebooks for, all of my research. You will find a few story ideas in there. Small paragraphs here and there, but that is only because when I am at my computer, I write in order. No jumping ahead. So, if an idea comes to me for a spot further in the book, I write that idea down.
There is no right or wrong way to write. What works for one person won't always work for another. I have tried to plot out my story and it just doesn't work for me. The one time I tried it, I realized I was spending too much time plotting and not enough time writing.
Now, as you read this I see you saying to yourself, that makes sense, or that is the kind of writer I am. Leave a comment and let me know, are you a plotter or a pantser?