I started out as a pantser. I had an ending, then a beginning and that's pretty much all I had. Everything else was decided as I went.
I'm currently writing the second novel in my series, 'Deceive Me in Ireland' and to avoid all the hassles and rewrites this time, I decided to plot. And you know what? I groaned and moaned the whole time, pulling my hair out over how I would get from A to B and what conflict to have. But, it all came together.
I started out by plotting the first few chapters. Then plotted the coming ones. Then a few more on top of that and as my characters grew so did the story in my head. By the time I hit the 50k mark, I knew exactly where I was going. I was no longer driving around with the headlight off and yet, I was still surpising myself.
Every now and then, I would have a pantser moment. A new twist, a new solution, a new chapter. The plotter and pantser in me are finally working together. It's like having a few kangaroos jump out in front of you. And of course, you never swerve.
I'm now plotting my next novel, a rural romance set entirely in Australia. I'm going to miss my Irishmen, but I'm excited about the prospects of a new challenge.
I have decided to still to my plotter ways and I'm still expecting a few roos. But there really are benefits in plotting.
For one, you save time. There no getting stuck at a crossroads or finding yourself down a deadend street.
Secondly, you get there faster, because as I found, I knew where I was going. There was no hesitation and yet there was still the same excitement you feel watching it all unfold.
And lastly, there's no turning back a hundred times just to get it right. I know the things I struggle with and so I plot them. I run my directions past the locals (my CP's) and then after a few quick alterations, I'm off on my way.
So tell me, are you a plotter or a pantser?