Fiction with Kay

I read. I write. You enjoy!

Good evening, everyone!

I hope all has been well, and I hope you’re all ready for some more Bookie stuff!

In case I haven’t talked about this enough, I am indeed writing my very first novel, which is a paranormal romance, and it has been a really fun journey so far. And I will be sharing updates on the process of my WIP as I go. Unfortunately, I am a very slow worker, so my Book Baby will not be published anytime soon.

BUT! On a brighter note, I have had the opportunity to get to know a large number of writers in the #WritingCommunity on Twitter, and I’ve made some amazing writer friends on Facebook! I really enjoy getting to know these special people, and I absolutely love the support we all give to one another! Also, I love learning about other writers’ processes and their own methods of telling a story.

Speaking of which, this leads me to my topic for the night: Outlining vs. Pantsing.

What’s the difference?

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I’m sure most of you know what outlining and pantsing is, but if not, allow me to elaborate!

Outlining is a method most authors use, in which the writer creates an organized timeline of chronological events that occur throughout the entire story. This is basically the author’s Bible for that specific book, or simply put, the skeleton of the story.

Pantsing is probably not as common as outlining, but this method is “writing by the seat of your pants.” Basically, you put your fingers on the keyboard and fabricate a story without creating a timeline or organizing an ultimate guide for your story. Most pantsers have a very general idea of where the story is going, and they may have a select few scenes brewing in their minds, but typically, there is no specific planning.

Am I an Outliner or a Pantser?

Being that my brain bounces all over the place, and I am possibly one of the most unorganized creatures on this planet, I am in fact a pantser.

In the past, I have attempted outlining, and it does help keep things in order, but I have never been able to stick to any of the outlines I’ve created. To be honest, I find more fun (and more progress) when I start half-blindly. Basically, I create a few characters, give them their flaws, find their voice, and throw them into whatever personal hell I can give them. From that point, I get to know my characters while I follow their journey.

One of the main reasons I prefer to not outline is because I detest feeling confined to one specific order, and I feel that I cannot be as freely creative as I would like. Also, this method somewhat convinces me that these people I’ve fabricated are more real (to me), and that they have a mind of their own. Of course, each author has his or her own preference, and their own brain quirks that aid them on their own writing journey.

The Downfall of Pantsing

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As I mentioned, it is more natural for me to write without a detailed map for my stories, but this can be frustrating at times. There have been numerous times I’ve sat at my laptop, staring at the screen and asking myself “Okay, what’s next?”, and this can (and does) slow me down. But once I take time to clear my mind and briefly brainstorm, the right idea comes to me, and the words start to flow!

The Bright Side

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I truly feel like pantsing give both the author and the characters freedom during the writing process. I feel like writing blindly encourages quicker thinking and enhances problem solving. It’s also more fun for me because I feel like I’m experiencing the story for myself, instead of telling it.

So, are you an outliner or a pantser? I’d love to know! What do you like or dislike about each method? Let me know in the comments!


Halloween is approaching us, and I feel like I could bring on some fun here by hosting another weekend event. In the past, I’ve held a horror weekend and a Coraline weekend, and it’s been so long since I’ve done something like this, so I’d like to hear from y’all! What sort of event would you guys like to join me in before October ends? LET ME KNOW!

Remember that you guys can follow me on Twitter @KaylaMclaney and on Instagram @kaylamclaney. I will inform you all that I am way more active on Twitter than I am on Instagram, but I’m there! You can also find me on Facebook, and you can follow my page Fiction with Kay, and you can join my writers’ group, which is also called Fiction with Kay.

I hope you all have a great night, be safe, be creative, and remember to Keep Reading!

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