On the other hand if you start writing with no clear idea of where your story is going, who your characters are or even what the story it is about then you fall into the category of pantser. You thrive on uncertainty and see writing as a journey which is as exciting for you as it is for the reader. You delight in coming up with connections and ideas on the run and you give your unconscious a lot of leeway to create.
I love the term plantser because it really captures the organic process of writing. Just like a plant a story has to begin with a seed planted in the fertile soil of the imagination, and as it begins to grow the roots develop to hold the story together and keep it anchored. Above the soil is the story itself, growing and blossoming in beautiful and often unexpected ways.
Everyone has their own approach to their craft and you have to go with what works for you, but I believe plantsers manage to avoid the pitfalls that come with being a planner or a panser. Planners risk overthinking things and losing spontaneity. Pantsers on the other hand often find that they start out with great enthusiasm but then come to a grinding halt because they don't know how to finish the story. Their characters can come across as superficial because they haven't spent enough time thinking about the motivations and how they will develop. I know this from experience because I have taken a pantser approach with my current WIP and I've found it far more difficult than my previous books. It's not approach I'll be taking again in a hurry.
I've discovered I'm a plantser through and through because this approach combines the best of both worlds. It provides a solid grounding to build on while also allowing the imagination to run free and do its magic. Who could ask for more than this?
What type of writer are you?