Since taking up the challenge and task of writing my novel, I've read about and attended workshops on different writing processes. Most of the books and speakers discussed using outlines to some degree while the majority tend to discuss and favor plotless free-writing or the "Seat of Your Pants" method. They use phrases like: "seeing where my fingers take me", "I never know which direction the story is gonna go", "the characters do what they want", and the classic line, "The characters take on a life of their own." But how can you just start writing without knowing what you are going to write? Following the logic of these statements, you could set out with the goal of writing a supernatural thriller and end up with a YA coming-of-age tale. Also, I understand fleshing out your characters so they feel like real people, but in the end they are fabrications of the author's design and not real people, so how can they do what they want? I believe Mark Twain said, "Life is chaotic but fiction requires order!" Shouldn't it stand that writing anything would require a certain amount of forethought? With regards to forming a creative paradigm, the methods I am most familiar with and accustomed to is outlining using Three Act Structure, plot points, and scene breakdowns. Maybe I'm being too literal, but can anyone explain what is meant by all this or how "Seat of Your Pants" writing is possible?