To outline or not, that is the question...
There are a number of authors, who rarely use an outline – and are quite vociferous about their methods. They claim if they know what’s happening, their work won’t be natural. Instead, they start the story with an incident, and let the whole thing develop.
The method undoubtedly works for some - for experienced writers who’ve trod the long and dusty path and understand the problems.
The problem is, can YOU recognize a quality conflict that will continue unfurling for the next 80,000 words, or will yours be electrifying to begin with, only to end in a blind alley. It’s too easy to start with a bang and a flourish of bright ideas, only to wither at chapter four.
For this reason I advise new writers to create an outline before starting to write. How long or how detailed is your choice - but a plan of any kind, makes sure you don’t sit at a blank computer screen wondering what to compose next.
Nothing is set in concrete. Once you start you may find your story doesn’t develop the way you anticipated, you might have other ideas that change the story completely. Don’t think you can’t use these ideas because they weren’t planned. Decide which is best, the original plot or the new one, adapt your plan, and incorporate it.
Don’t abandon the outline idea - adapt.