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We Sleep At Night Because America's Armed Forces, Police and Fire Fighters Never Do

Why I’m a Pantser, or Where did this new story come from?

I’m a Pantser. I sit down to write without a whole lot of pre-planning about what I’m going to write. For example, when I woke up this morning, writing a blog entry wasn’t on my to-do list for the day. Other writers outline everything they do, and I confess I’ve tried doing that, but so far I can’t do it. Outlines just don’t make sense to me when I try to plan out my stories.

When people ask what advice I would give a new or unpublished writer, or someone who has writer’s block (which I don’t believe in, by the way), my advice is always the same: don’t edit as you go. Write and don’t read what you’ve written until you’re finished, and whatever you do, don’t try to edit what you just wrote. This goes along with my Pantser style…Write ’em all, let God sort ’em out.

It took me thirty long years of struggle to reach the point where I could do that, but when I finally did I started writing at a pace that surprises even me. Now I just write stuff when I think of it and my production has gone way up.

But I’m a lucky guy and I know it.

Like so many writers I have more ideas swimming around in my brain than I could ever possibly write into a cohesive format. Unlike most writers I know, I actually have the time to piddle around with some of the stranger ones. And the great thing about being a Pantser is that I can do it without forethought.

I’m now 10k words into a bizarre story that I neither planned or even dreamed of ahead of time. It wasn’t even one of my secret projects because I literally had no inkling about it before I started typing. One night a few weeks ago I started writing and poof! there it was. I think it’s pretty good, too, but who knows?

How long will it be, what genre is it, all that good stuff comes later. Right now I have no idea. And that’s because I’m a Pantser. My path leads into the wild unknown, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.



2018 Writing Resolutions


On winning the 2018 Darrell Award for Best Novella


  1. Chung

    Yepper Bill-san! Free Style saves energies for forward travel. I can applaud that. Fewer entanglements in neural responses. Imagine a swimmer looking back on feet movements and 2nd guessing the lower digits movements. Trusting oneself to perform is monumental. Ya done well in Angriff-san’s duties on keeping America he has encountered viable. Swinging the political correctness professor around to support the aims of the country is ……..(whatever word structure fits). A nice touch in the digital realm of fiction. We’re it so. Was that da wind…or a sighing sound? I’m on to other projects whilst awaiting Angriff-san generalship on future shenanigans from his opposition. Am not having any results canning this present cold weather for future use in summer.

    • Last year during winter I opened some buckets and let in the cold air. Then, in July, I opened them expecting refrigerated air to be inside.

      Alas, it didn’t work.

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