A phrase I have heard countless times during my study. Plan the work, work the plan.
Before I can actually start writing a story that goes on longer than the first chapter I have to think about what it is I really want to tell. What symbolism do I want to appear in the story? How will the characters develop? How will I work towards an ending while keeping the readers excited?
All of these questions can only truly be answered well once a – whether or not specific – plan has been made of what it is you are about to put on paper. That is of course, if that is the way you like to write. I certainly do, simply because I believe my story gets better as I plan certain actions before having written them down in full sentences. I can work towards certain chapters and create an interesting dynamic in the storyline.
So, plan the work. Work the plan. Every project manager does it. Why shouldn’t we writers? As long as the plan leaves enough room for some creativity.