"... begin with the free and unfettered pouring of story from your imagination. ... just let the story flow, without any thought for practical issues. Later on, if there are problems with your story, or imposed practical issues to deal with, use your knowledge of structure to root out those problems or satisfy those practical demands. The value of structural understanding is in story optimisation and problem resolution, not as a creative starting point. Ideally, your ideas will pour out and there will be no problems with the story you have written; in which case who cares what the structure is? Creativity first, always and forever. Structure secondarily, and only as a tool for analysis and repair" (THE STORY BOOK by David Baboulene, p.64) [color and emphasis added]
While I absolutely love this quote, I would say this applies to writers who've written at least one manuscript. I would advise anyone who has NEVER written a story (of any length) to read at least one book or take one class on the craft of writing. And better yet, make that class or book specific to the genre or style you're interested in pursuing.
What do you think?
Were you aware of structure and/or rules of the genre before you started writing?