I've confessed in previous blog entries that while I started life as a pantser, I've learned that I'm more productive when I do the work necessary to plot out a basic outline for my book.
However, on my new WIP, I'm pantsing it, at least for the opening chapters.
I do have a basic idea of what the story is about, who the villain is, and some of the turning points for the story, but it's very nebulous and, at the moment, completely in my head (as opposed to written down somewhere). Instead of focusing on my plot points, I'm sitting back for the first three or four chapters and letting my characters do all the driving.
I think one reason I can do it that way is that the hero and heroine, and even most of the secondary characters, are very real and fully formed to me already. I don't know every detail of their backstory yet, but I understand who they are, if that makes sense. I can see them and hear them. I know how they'll react to situations. I know the kinds of things that will drive them together, threaten to tear them apart, push their buttons and break their hearts. At the moment, I can't list specific events that will create their escalating conflict and crisis points, but it doesn't matter. I know Audrey and Connor.
I'm very curious to see where these two characters and their band of merry co-conspirators will take me over the first few chapters.
I love when a book gets under my skin and won't let go. It doesn't happen every time I start a new story, and I've gotten to where I can still write a book in a relatively short time even when I'm not consistently "in the zone." But there's nothing like writing when everything's clicking, when it's a movie playing out in your head and no matter how quickly you can type, you can't keep up with the story flowing into of your fingers.
It's crack for writers. ;)