The longer I work (or actually play) at writing, even for my own amusement, the more I'm convinced that the outline is a very important part of the process. Also, it seems from my experience, that you need to know the end point of your story almost more than you need to know the beginning point. Though both are necessary. For in fiction just in life, if you don't know where you are, then you probably have no idea of where you want to go. And if you don't have a clue of where you want to go you spend lots of time either spinning your tires or wandering in the wilderness; neither of which conditions are conducive to a productive life or even a very satisfactory life.