For anyone wondering how I write, the answer is simple: haphazardly.
For years, I've just sat down with my pen and paper and started scribbling, not really caring whether it amounted to anything presentable. I wrote to entertain myself.
I'd say I was quite prolific. I wrote an entire story in one weekend, multiple times. But, they would take a LOT of work to ever become presentable. I tried outlining things, but never enjoyed it. I wrote so I could learn what happened to my characters. The story unfolded as I wrote.
With the constraints I have on my time (full time job, two children under the age of 3, two dogs, three cats, various hobbies, husband, etc) I can't just muddle around until the story reveals itself and I feel inspired to write. I need some sort of plan to get me to the point where my fans have something to read and quit hounding me for a few minutes. (Just teasing. I love to be hounded. It makes me feel like my stories are enjoyed.)
Here's a quick look at the method I've developed so far. (Yes, I know it's not the order recommended by most "how to write a novel" books.
- Rough draft
- Character sketches
- Setting info
- Add details to rough draft
- Revise until I'm happy
- First reader
- Shove that baby bird out of the nest and pray it flies (to the bestseller list)
I'll expand on each step in the future, explaining how it worked for Alaskan Healing, and other novels I'm currently working on.
How does your method differ from mine? I'm always looking for new ideas to adapt to my process.