I’m a pantser. I’ll start with a vague idea, maybe something as small as a character’s name, and if I’m lucky it’s a first or last name. It’s usually a middle name. If I’m really lucky, I have some kind of plot. But I pants it. I sit down at my computer and just let my fingers hit the keys. Eventually, some kind of plot emerges, and some characters.
If I’m truly lucky, everything follows and my characters do what I think they should. They don’t. I don’t plan near enough for that. They argue, bicker, meet, fall in love, and any other sort of conundrum you can imagine, all when they aren’t supposed to. And they’re great about revealing the skeletons in their closets much too early.
The great thing about pantsing a novel, especially like NaNo where you have a word count goal, is that when the current plot you have bubbles to near-nothingness and you’re still 15k from 50k, you throw in something really random. Plot bunnies, even late in the story, are easier to insert if you pants it.
Disclaimer: Pantsing isn’t for everyone. Some people like to have every aspect of a novel down before starting. Me, I’m good with a character name and some plot or scene.