Originally Posted by Steven Lyle Jordan
You've got me; but I definitely fall into the latter camp. I often think of the former camp is simply fooling themselves: Ascribing characters that the author created to telling the author's story, out of the author's control, sounds mildly schizophrenic. But yeah, whatever works.
In my experience (plotting number 7 now), the planning/plotting is absolutely necessary before I start writing. I attempted my first book without any planning in advance - well, very little. It took me three years to get it to a place where I was happy with it, and that was *after* I learned about story structure and reformatted it appropriately.
Now, with planning a "must do" I can write a well structured and (hopefully) engaging page-turning in anywhere from 6 to 9 months.
So, yeah, whatever works for you, but in my case (a middle-aged guy just starting, and trying t make up for lost time), the faster the better.