Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.”
I know Eisenhower was referring to preparing for battle, but to me, it works for writing as well.
For plotters his quote could be interpreted as the plot that was planned might be useless, i.,e. doesn’t work, but the planning was important to know what will work and what won’t. Planning can be similar to a trial run that opens up new ideas leading to an outstanding piece of work.
For pantzers, we writers who don’t plot but sit down and write what comes to us, in other words, we write by the seat of our pants, I have found Eisenhower’s quote works for me as well. Writing out a plot is useless, discouraging, and leaves me with a feeling the story is already written so I give up and go on to some other story idea. However, in my recent WIP, Norman in the Painting, I sit down and write, but I’ve planned a brief idea of what the action will be in that chapter. No outline, no note cards, nothing in writing, just a brief sentence in mind such as Arctarius tells Jill how Norman travels from his world to hers. I had to research multidimensions, parallel universes, and other details in order to have the correct terminology for Arctarius but after that, the chapter was up to him. I maintained the ability for surprises to occur, and they did, he didn’t let me down.
What is your process?