Take Off Your Pants and Write! The Benefits and Pitfalls of Pantsing vs. Plotting a Novel
There are some writers who are content to make it up as they go - flying by the seat of their pants, as it were. Stephen King is one of the best known examples of an author who develops a situation, then allows his characters to lead him to the end of the story. Other writers need a more tangible plot outline crafted in advance, one which they follow closely as they write. It keeps them on track and ensures that their story proceeds - and ends - the way they expected.
There are pros and cons to both "pantsing" and "plotting", however. In this Writer's Digest Conference session recording, novelist Jeffrey Somers shows how each method works, how to overcome each method's weaknesses, and how to determine which method is the right one for you.