Since entering the blogging world, I have come across two words that had me trying to see where I fit in... outliner Vs. panster. When I first came upon these words I didn't really understand the meaning of them. Which one was I? So, I tried to figure it out.
My understanding of an outliner is someone who outlines their story. They may have chart and graphs. They plot out each chapter. Know each plot point, whether they are major or minor ones. They may make in depth character analysis of each character. They know, before they ever start writing, where each and every chapter is going.
A panster, conversely, flies by the seat of their pants. They may have a rough idea of where their story is going, but by no means do they have it plotted out. They just let it flow wherever it decides to take them. Sitting down at their computer and letting it spew out of them. These examples are, of course, extremes.
I don't think that I'm either. I have an idea of where my story is going. I have key points I know that are going to happen and where, but I don't outline it. I do have not-so-in-depth character analyses, but these are mostly just so that I don't forget things about my characters. So, what does this make me a outanster? A Pansiner? Do we have to be one or the other? Does it even matter?
How do you write? Are you one or the other or somewhere in the middle?