I just thought it would be interesting to see how people go about writing their novels here. Do you sit down and plan your novel, with chapter outlines and detailed guides? Or do you have a general idea and just let the book flow where it wants to go? I have never been one for mapping and planning. What I normally do is this: if I get an idea I like, I just get a general, fluid idea of where I want it to go in my head and then literally just begin writing. I know planning works very well for some, but for me I like to write and be surprised at where my characters and stories take me... I get so excited at times when I begin writing a chapter and find my story taking an unexpected twist. As for charcters though - I always need to keep notes on them.