For all you pansters out there, I'm sure the answer is no to my title question. But whether you write by the seat of your pants, or outline your novel, there's nothing wrong with a little brainstorming. In fact, this is a great thing to do with your critique partner.
I have brainstormed both Fable and Fated and it helped me move the story along. I've done it in the middle of the book as well as the beginning. When you find yourself stuck and aren't really sure what should happen next, brainstorming fits the bill.
Now with Lore I have brainstormed continuously throughout. First with my sister since we wrote the first 17 chapters together before she decided not to write anymore, and then later with my critique partners. It's actually fun since it really is just using your imagination.
I came up with some wonderful ideas by throwing them out there to my critique partners. Plus it's fun just talking about stories. I've used many different ways to pull ideas out of my critique partners minds, and my own. But you can simply bring a pad and pen and jot down the basic ideas.
The key to using the ideas successfully is to refer to your list before you sit down to write. It helps to get those creative juices flowing. If you have writer's block, then brainstorming might bring you out of it.
Lately I have brainstormed with the rewrite I'm doing with Lore. After discussing the ideas I'm really ready to start writing immediately. And that's what you want - encouragement. And as I begin the next book, Tale, I will sit down with Robin, my critique partner, and brainstorm ideas for the story before I begin.
It's just a suggestion for all of you that write. Try it. You might find that it really helps keep your imagination in tact.
Have you brainstormed any of your manuscripts? If so let me know if it helped. I think the key is simply invoking the story to come to fruition.
Have a great weekend all!