Author Personality Types: Pantsers (Flying by the Seat of Your Pants)

If you're a Pantser, life—and writing—is one wild ride. And you wouldn't have it any other way.

Flying by the seat of your pants takes guts. The term comes from the days when flight was brand-new, when barnstormers piloted those old single-engine planes without using any instruments, performing heart-stopping tricks and stunts in the air. They relied on their own senses of direction and orientation while ducking through loop-the-loops, twisting tight corkscrews, and literally crashing their planes through barns on purpose. It was an incredibly dangerous profession, but barnstorming was a huge attraction in the early twentieth century and helped usher in the public’s acceptance of flight.

And if you’re the type of writer who rockets right into your story without outlining first, you’re much like those barnstorming pilots. Without using an outline or predetermined plot, you take off into the story by the seat of your pants, relying on your own good sense to carry you through. Sure, it’s risky. But the payoff is oh-so-rewarding.