I was browsing “writing” on Pinterest when I learned a new word, “pantser.”
A pantser is a writer who, “flies by the seat of their pants,” meaning they rarely plan anything out, I guess they want to be just as surprised as their readers.
As opposed to a plotter, who outlines their story chapter by chapter and situation by situation.
I knew a guy who was the quintessential plotter. He wrote science fiction and used a whiteboard to keep track of the chronology of events, and how they affected each of the characters, no matter how minor. He also had stacks of handwritten notes that appeared to be organized by subject.
I’m more of a pantser type. I work out the generalities of my main character and their location, I might even sketch a map so I don’t get turned around, but after that, I make it up as I go. This also means that I spend a lot of time rewriting scenes, because my characters sometimes develop a martyr complex, get into situations they couldn’t possibly survive, or become such insufferable, self-righteous, assholes that I’d punch them if I met them in real life.
–I too have stacks of notes, organized by where I dropped them.