But, see, that's the thing. I'm TOO obsessively organized to be a plotter. I've tried it. I spent so much time over-thinking and over-organinizing my outline that I sucked all the life out of my story--big time. I had to change my approach.
Now I work with what I call a 'loose outline,' meaning I know roughly where the story ends, a couple of major plot points along the way, and that's it. The rest comes to me as I go. And from the very first day I tried this method it was like a revelation. In fact, everyone's favorite character in my MS--the one that has turned more than one CP/Beta reader into a Cougar (they're already planning to make T-Shirts)--exists solely because I threw my outline out the window.
No, really. I was about 1/3 of the way through my rough draft. I had my plot completely outlined. My characters set. And...it wasn't working. So I decided to just write--just have my character go from Point A to Point B, no skipping to the next scene in the outline. Which meant my main character wandered down the wrong hallway and got completely lost. She needed to ask someone for help, so I decided to create a new character and BAM--a fan favorite was born.
I'd never had a character appear so complete. He had a voice. He had a backstory. He had...plans. My hand actually hurt as I tried to write it all down before I could forget it. He has not only wormed his way through the first book--he'll be in the whole series. And he never would have existed if I hadn't decided to fly by the seat of my pants.
So yeah, I'm definitely a pantser. Is it a more inefficient way to write? Probably. (I always cut more than I keep). Does it drive the OCD part of me crazy? Absolutely. But it works.
What about you guys? Plotters? Pantsers? Somewhere in between? What works best for you, and why?