(or Outlining vs. Discovery Writing)
I have a problem with this duality, especially when it comes to statements to the effect that discovery writing is the only pure form of writing.
To clarify the terms first of all, an outliner plans out the story before they begin writing, whereas a discovery writer just plunges in and sees where the muse takes them (they’re also called architect and gardener). While I’ve experimented with discovery writing, I’m more comfortable with outlining.
The thing is, I don’t really see too much of a distinction. Or possibly there’s just a scale between the two on which most writers fall, since an absolute approach to either would seem difficult.
When discovery writing, I don’t know that I could start out without a rough idea of where I’m ending up. And when outlining I’m generally running through the story over and over, breaking it down and making sure everything fits, and basically discovering the story as I outline.
Even when everything’s outlined it doesn’t mean it can’t change later, just that there’ll (hopefully) be fewer, and lesser, revision than might be the case for a purely discovered story.
I could, of course, be viewing the matter though the lens of my own writing style, but I just don’t see them as the distinct approaches they’re often portrayed as.