Someone in an online writing group mentioned the ‘snowflake’ method of turning out a novel, so I had to investigate (I won’t explain. Google it!). Not really like my own approach, I realized. I don’t write a good sentence and expand from it.
No, I am more likely to write a bunch of disjointed words and phrases and shape them into sentences, paragraphs, pages, later on. Rather similar to the way I would write poetry or a song lyric, actually. It is a sort of outlining, I suppose, an informal way of laying out the structure-to-come. These are the notes from which I work, the material from which I build my story.
I have mentioned before that there are some similarities to the technique used by Nabokov, updated to the age of the computer. The ‘painter’ approach, dabbing here and there, bringing the work to completion, rather than following a linear start-to-finish path. I am not very strict about this, admittedly. Still, I do ‘under-paint’ by creating some semblance of an outline.
How closely the finished story will resemble that outline is hard to say. As closely as it needs to, I guess! All that matters is it works for me.