I've tried both the planning approach (i.e. writing outlines for my story's events and drawing web diagrams that describe my characters) and the pantsing approach (i.e. start writing immediately without having a clear idea of where the story is going) and I've found that neither of them work very well for me by themselves. Almost every plot I can brainstorm is either way too obviously derivative or has one or two fundamental flaws that ruin the whole thing. On the other hand, whenever I go by pantsing alone, I find myself stuck and wondering where to go next by the time I reach the middle act. Looking back at all the stories I've managed to finish, it seems that they all involved a combination of planning and pantsing; I would start the story knowing only what would happen in the first few scenes, but by the time those scenes get written the rest of the plot unfolds in my head and I have a tentative mental outline to work with. Does anyone else mix planning and pantsing?