Some authors have a strict structured process for writing and do not start writing their scenes until they have the entire outline and timeline figured out. On the other extreme are some authors who like the free-flowing thought process and simply start writing. There is really no right or wrong way of doing things, after all this is a creative process and certainly not scientific. But somewhere I think it is related to how an author’s brain works. If you take one of those personality assessment tests, you will know how your brain likes to function. Some people prefer being more organized than others and I would think that their writing process will reflect that. They would prefer to outline their story before they start writing.
As for me, I like to mix the two approaches. I certainly like the outlining aspect since it provides a structure and helps me plan the story and scenes. It also helps me edit the story because I can always refer back to the outline and the story elements that I recorded earlier. However, writing being a creative process, I’d like it to be free-flowing also. I don’t outline to the last detail, only as much so it can help me get organized and then I let the scenes and details just flow. What this means is that sometimes, I go back and adjust my outline after I let the scenes flow freely and that is perfectly okay.