Understanding the basics of plot structure and character arcs is essential for good writing, whether or not you plan for them in advance. You don't want to get to 50,000 words and realize you skipped right over an important piece of the puzzle. It'll make revising hell. But how do you make sure you're heating the beats without . . .*shivers* outlining?
How to Write a Book And Get it Published: A Beginner's Guide