Pantsers seem to take umbrage, sometimes extreme, to my statement that planning is vital to writing.
Let’s get what I hope is an unbiased definition of “plan” from Merriam Webster:
plan verb: to think about and arrange the parts or details of (something) before it happens or is made
Let’s consider writing without planning:
- Do you think about the gender of your protagonist in advance?
- Is a particular genre intended?
- Are you writing for adults, children, youths?
- Will the general tone be happy, sad, or intentionally neutral?
- Short story, novella, novel?
I could go on. Really I could.
I’d truly love for anyone who has simply sat down and started writing without “thinking about the details of (something) before it is made” to share how they’ve avoided answering, not all, but even one of the questions in that list.
Planning does not mean a 42-page outline. It does not imply, in and of itself, any level of detail whatsoever. 9 sentences will do nicely.
But, no planning? At all?
I don’t believe you.