I used to be a very strict Pantser. (A Pantser is a person who writes by the seat of her pants, versus a Plotter who has notes arranged in color coded notebooks and knows the eye color of the guy who appears for two lines on page 56 and then gets killed by the rampaging were-simmons.) When I wrote my first YA, the one that got me agented, I wrote the whole thing, editing as I went, and then...THEN I wrote a revision post-it. It had little notes about the things I needed to change written in all different directions, and in my spare time I folded it into a little puppet guy. That was my one grudging nod to organization.
Flash forward a while. Now I have an editor. Editor points out that my Pantser, puppet making self has some serious issues with settings. And pacing. And the fact that one guy shows up and doesn't leave for about a hundred pages. (Why didn't I NOTICE that before?) I have no choice. I take on some Plotter tendencies. I make Excel spreadsheets. And I think, "Why didn't I think of this before? I'm ADDICTED to Excel spreadsheets. Ask my husband. I pretty much selected our house based on the strength of my Excel spreadsheet. I think I made our realtor's eyes roll back in her head when I gave her such a specific set of criteria for our house-to-be."
Organizing via Excel seems to work for me, although I started a new book using my old Pantser ways just because it's fun. And writing should be fun. I picked it as a career because it's fun, and that's no reason for it to stop being fun.
Can you tell I was trying to see how many times I could use the word "fun" in a paragraph before my eyes started to bleed? Apparently, that number is 4.
So now, I'm a strange hybrid of a Pantser and Plotter, kinda like a liger only not as kewl. But I've just learned that I'm doing it wrong. I should be asking the people at the gas station.
What about you? Are you a Pantser? Plotter? Gas station attendant? If so, I have this question about ninja weaponry...