The terms plotter and pantser come about mostly in my world around November. While we always discuss them off an on throughout the year, remarking on which we see ourselves as and how we cannot work as the other, that is the number one time they are seen. Why you might ask? I would say that because while many of us are writers year round and want to pursue it in some form as a career November brings about Nanowrimo and that is an epic challenge for either type of author.
Plotter more aptly describes people like my brother or my father. They are analytical, planned out and organized types that prefer to know what is going to happen, how and when. They would far prefer to write a research paper or report than anything in a creative writing course under almost any circumstance. That is not to say there aren't thousands of creative writers that prefer this method of creating a book. There most certainly are. I envy their ability to think all the way through a project, know what research needs to be done, have outlines and checklists and then put it all together in a captivating way.
I myself am far more of a pantser. As the name would suggest we simply fly by the seat of our pants, going with the flow as things in our stories unfold before us. In my case there are times I am as much reader as I am writer. I will find myself longing for my computer so I can drift into the world of my characters and see what happens next. I will start with a concept and I have some vague ideas of what I want to see happen or, at times, just how I think the story should end. For some reason when I am just sitting around thinking about the book though I will find myself blocked. I come up with plot holes that seem impossible to fill.
Aside from basic information I am almost exclusively going with the flow when I write. For certain books there is more research needed than others. If I know ahead of time I will make a list of anything I can think of that I may need to look up and so in that small aspect I am a plotter. A great friend of mine says she is a plantser, a combination of the two. I would like to think that describes me as well but being honest I pants far more often with only a tweak of plot in me. For those that read my blog and are also writers I wonder, where do you fall in the plotter / pantser world?