The Werewolf Project: 43,427
I was talking to a writer friend, and it turns out she doesn’t outline or do any plotting at all before she writes. Another writer friend apparently makes several highly detailed drafts of her outlines. As for me…
I find it reassuring to have a plot outline. I like seeing how things fit together, and I feel like it helps me make sure things fit together plausible. (At least, I hope they fit together plausibly.) I also tend to like being able to see the timing of everything. For the werewolf project, I actually wrote when I thought the events should happen on a calendar. (It also helps with the full moons.)
The other advantage of doing an outline for me is that it helps me remember what’s supposed to come later. Otherwise, I’m likely to forget, and have to spend time re-figuring out what I wanted to do. Still, I definitely get new plot ideas as I write, and I do find I have to update my plot outline as I go. I guess I think of my plot outline as a flexible coat rack on which to hang my story.