I never realised that there were two specific categories of writer - those that planner and those that don't.
I come into the second - I barely even out line to be honest. In most recently completed book I knew who the main characters were. I knew who done it and I knew why - but the details were all a bit vague at the start.
I had read lots of things which told me that unless you were a super start writer then the only way was to meticulously plan everything. But I've never much cared for following the rules and I knew that over planning would suck the life out of the story telling for me.
I started out with a mind map and some prompt cards which I could refer to when I forgot someone's name or any other relevant information. For me this allows the characters and the story room to breathe and I need that.
I remember saying to my husband one day "Well I didn't know he was going to discover an unusual murder weapon did I" and him looking at me as if I had lost the plot. These days he's gotten used to it.
It has its down sides for example when I did my first round of revisions I had to back fill a part of the story where I had changed the importance of a character and a location of a crime scene. In my current WIP my victim is missing a foot. I found myself thinking -"Why, why is she missing a foot - how did that happen and what relevance does it have to the rest of the story.
It's ok that's not a spoiler alert I'm in the very early stages so who knows what the foot situation will be by the time the book is finished.
There's no time saving in it because what I gain at the beginning of the project I loose with revisions at the end, I write like I live my life by the seat of my pants. There are pitfalls in this approach but it works for me.
I've said it before and I am sure I'll find myself thinking it and saying it again; it is not about doing it a specific way it is about actually doing it and to hell with how other people make it work it only has to work for you.