Is it better to outline and plot everything out, or just go with the flow, wherever the story leads you?

It depends on the book and it depends on how quickly you want to finish it. With my historical novels, (Fever 1793 and Chains) I have to outline carefully because the character’s journey has to take place within real historical events.

With my YA novels, like Twisted and Speak, I am more flexible. In the early drafts, I write whatever weirdness pops in my head. In later drafts, I sort through the chaos and try to give it structure and a sense of flow. But what works for me might not work for you. Everyone has their own process.