I had written two books, using the Benny Hill Method (brakes off at the top and wheeeee . . . (bathtub optional)) aka the Wayne's World Method (First draft! First draft! Party time! Excellent!) and then I went to a Society of Authors workshop where a proper writer told me I should have a synopsis, outline, chapter plan and character sketches in place before I wrote a word of the story itself.
So I got different coloured sheets of paper and did myself a chapter plan, a calendar (including phases of the moon) and five character biographies. I didn't do a synopsis or outline because I didn't know what they were or how they were different from each other.
Finally I started writing. Plodding along, bored and grumpy, feeling like someone who'd been told to write up the minutes after a meeting. About a third of the way in, I couldn't stand it anymore and ripped up the coloured paper. It was pretty. Like confetti.
After that, writing was interesting again and the story grew legs and ran, then grew wings and flew. As usual it didn't land where I had expected it to. But here's the thing - the first third, the bit that I had done "properly", contained no clues about the unexpected twist. I had to go back and put them in by hand. The two thirds I'd written after the day of the confetti was already stuffed with clues to the twist I hadn't seen coming.
Since then I've learned that there are just as many chaotic, weeping, white-knuckle writers are there are meticulous, orderly, seed-sowing writers. Both kinds produce books I love, both kinds are great fun at parties, and both kinds share one talent: they can ignore each other's advice like pros. Vive la difference!