Penny asked Margaret Atwood:

In my life thus far as a writer I've come across two camps of successful (in the publishing sense) writers - those that plan their novel manuscripts before contemplating the start of writing them, and those that 'wing it'. How much planning goes into your work? I clearly see a level of planning, how much time do you spend on it? And does your research come before, during or after the planning stage?

Margaret Atwood Hello: I'm a wing-it person. I tried to plan it all out once, and that was a dismal failure. The structure emerges as I write along; so does the research. I find out what I need to know, and then I try to find it out… But every writer will evolve an individual way of working. There isn't just one "right" way.
Margaret Atwood

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