I’m starting nano in two days. http://nanowrimo.org/ That means for the new writers out there, I will be in a pedal to the metal, hair blown straight back, caffeine fueled frenzy to get at least 1667 words per day to hit the goal of 50,000 words by the end of November.
That said, the previous time I did it was the best thing I’ve done for my writing in the last 10 years. I learned that 1) I can be productive and 2) I don’t need no stink’n outline.
Now, before you pick up the pen or raise the keyboard and start typing, it’s a good idea to have at least a general direction to write in. Maybe pick a genre, maybe have a character in mind, because something has to happen. Conflict needs to happen. A character arc needs to happen. Beyond that you are on your own.
A couple of excellent books that might help you – 1) Story Engineering by Larry Brooks http://storyfix.com/ and Chris Baty’s No Plot, No Problem. Both will kick start your work and get you writing ( which is the whole point of this fool effort to begin with)