I often come across a lot of commentary in writer-oriented media that speaks of plotting vs. "pantsing".
Plotters outline their story beats in advance. Pantsers, as the name implies, write by the seat of their pants and just start the story to see where it goes.
Another term I've heard used for this latter mindset is discovery writing. It makes it more of an intentional description, rather than something that's chaotic.
I have intimate experience with both. Years ago, I wrote earlier versions of the Players of the Game series, two books at once. One with Repenter and one with the Burnhelts called Gifts and Curses, which I finished first. I had plotted both of them out.
However, as I continued with Repenter and then Brigands, I came to the less than optimal realization, that the Gifts and Curses book no longer fit, and it had to be completely disassembled.
I believe my single word at the time was, "Ugh."
Even plotting is not without its peril.
I chose to look at this creative spillage with its glass half full. I had a far better idea of where the story needed to go. And I needed to write it linearly, not in simultaneous parts.
Plus, I did ultimately incorporate elements of defunct Gifts and Curses into The New Players, The Breakers, and The Game War. The story beats work better now.
Following this era of hard knocks, I've determined like using a mix of the two mindsets.
Discovery plotting if you will.
I plot out the story in advance, but I treat it more as a loose itinerary rather than a metaphorical GPS map of the story.
I know that I want to visit the Grand Canyon, but I won't necessarily take the interstate or the airport. I might just hike there by way of the Sandhills of Nebraska and the foothills of the Rockies.
I often discover cool and compelling character and plot points that only emerge as I actually do the writing of the story after the planning stage.
It's a ton of work. But it's fun and it makes my stories better.