The usual question is plotter versus panster. Do you prepare a detailed outline and stick to it when writing a story, or do you just start writing and see where it goes? Like most authors, I’m somewhere in the middle. I usually will have the spark of inspiration, write a bit, then plot until the story makes sense. The rest is usually pantsing. When I get stuck, I try going back to the outline to dig in a little deeper.
The part I really love is when something needles its way into the story (for some reason, shoes come up a lot for me), and stabs itself into the plot. Then you write something you had intention of writing or exploring and the whole piece takes flight. Who made those shoes after all? I didn’t think it was important, but apparently it is.