There are universally accepted two kinds of writers: architects and explorers.
An architect carefully lays down his plans, thinking well into the night and developing character profiles and outlines. Only once all this planning is complete, the story known, does the architect sit down to write, working methodically through their outline. The explorer, on the other hand, thrashes ahead with their machete, with no thought to what lay ahead other than to slaughter in haste as they pass by onto the next scene.
Each represents a different approach to writing. In more layman’s terms, a planner and a … non-planner. Both have their virtues. The architect typically has more involved plots and less revision. The explorer’s story on the other hand is fresh and surprising and a ton of work to revise. Most writers are bit of both.
Me? I’m a bit of both, of course. Almost all of my stories start with a scene. They pop into my head in the shower, on the way to work, as I go to sleep, whenever. When it happens, if it’s possible, I run to the computer and start typing as fast as I can. If that’s not possible, I whip out my smart phone and start fat fingering it, to be transcribed later. I write this way until I get stuck.
Then I stop. And start architecting. Where is this scene? Who are these characters? Why are they there? What do they want, and how do they get it, and how can I complicate their lives? This is generally how all my stories are written. I write the opening scenes in a flash, then meditate on it and outline the rest. All in all, it takes me about three to four months from concept to finished story. That may seem like a long time, but it used to be longer. I’m getting better with practice.
What kind of writer am I? Both, naturally.