I looked briefly down the page and saw a thread entitled "How Much Research Do You Do?" and although somewhat pertinent, I felt just about justified in making my own thread. My question is this - how much planning, when considering a work, do you undertake? Do you know exactly what direction you'll be headed in? Do you already know the ending, and how you'll get there? How much "fleshing out" of the story/characters is done along the way, and how much is known before you start? I always used to charge in headfirst as a youngster (not that I consider myself particularly aged now, but I've been "into" writing from a very young age, especially when my parents were told I was quite poor at English, and needed to work on it) and simply write whatever came into my head, making decisions along the way. Often I'd literally start with an idea or scene, perhaps an image that had stuck with me that day, and everything would begin to take shape from there. Planning is never something I was good at. You know that "preparation time" they'd give you before those excruciatingly long English exams? I didn't use much of it at all. Although I winged it then, as I try to develop my writing, it's a problem I'm encountering - in my opinion, your works can never truly be great unless you know where you're going to end up. What does everyone else think?