I’m a pantser: I write without reviewing or editing until I reach “The End”, and then I fix my complete (if this is the right word in this case) draft later.
I know there are also the semi-pantsers out there who first write a chapter or a section to the end and then fix it up before going on. There are also the edit-as-I-goers who prefer to have a well-edited work, albeit still incomplete, before writing new material on it. And there are of course the plotters who wouldn’t start writing without having a detailed plot laid out first.
Which method is better?
Recently, I stumbled on an article that strongly advised to not fall into the “trap” of “vomiting” your novel out.
I googled on.
I found articles that advertised any of the methods described above as the orthodox path. They all had very good reasons and they were all written extremely well. In the end, I experienced a five-second horror in thinking that I had ruined my novel because I had “vomited” it out and I must have, according to some articles, inadvertently cornered myself in a rabbit hole, which it would take me eons to dig myself out of.
Five seconds later, reason returned. There is so much advice out there that it’s difficult to keep a right head on. I started writing as a pantser long before I knew that I was one such creature. When I figure out that I need to change something in an earlier part of my novel, I leave a note in the margin and carry on as if the change has already been done. And to be honest, I’m not even sure that I’ll write my next novel in the same way. There can’t be one universal, all-encompassing approach to writing. And it’s only natural that as a writer develops, so would their method of writing.