Many writers debate whether or not to outline before drafting a new story or article. Some believe that an outline robs their work of spontaneity. Others feel that without an outline, they wander hither and yon with no direction.
I tend to outline fiction. For a picture book, this can take the form of post-it notes on a storyboard. For a novel, this may mean just a few sentences on each chapter.
Because my nonfiction is often either history or a how-to, the organization is obvious. Chronology or the order of the process itself.
Does working with an outline limit the development of my story idea? Not yet. It may take me a while to realize a change needs to be made, but I make changes to my outlines all the time. Sometimes I change the text without changing the outline because I only needed the outline to put my thoughts in order and never refer back to it.
Is this how other writers work? I don’t know, but I do know that this is what works for me.