When it comes down to it, every situation and every writer is different. This means that you have to examine your writing project and determine the needs it is dictating. The factors that control what and how you write will be determined by the genre you are writing, the publisher you are targeting, or even the agent that you are sending it to. Outside of that, it is entirely up to you as to what you want to do.
Please understand that I am not taking a relativistic approach to this and anything goes. You still need to know your audience and the piece you are writing. There are those parameters you have to work with so deal with it. But, again remember that within those parameters you can pretty much do anything.
So what does this deal with?
- Do I have to write in 1st or 3rd person?
- Do the characters have to meet in the first chapter?
- Can I start with the hero and not the heroine?
- How many pages are in a chapter?
- Does my synopsis have to be a certain page count?
- Can I do a synopsis in a chapter by chapter format?