This first post is about what works and what doesn't in the writing process for each of us. Huh, I supposed if I actually wrote every day . . .
ANYWAY, so let me start with what doesn't work for me. Plotting everything out on paper. That so doesn't work at all. I've tried believe me and all it does is make me:
This started all the way back in high school for me. The teacher would ask us to turn in the idea we had for a paper, then a rough outline, final outline, rough draft of the paper, final draft. Yeah, I had to write the paper once I got approval for the topic so I could do everything else. I am a total by the seat of my pants girl or pantser for short.
This doesn't mean I don't know where the story is going. I totally do. I always know how it ends. It's just that the journey may change as I go. The characters may do something unexpected and I want to be able to follow where they lead instead of forcing them to stay on the trail I've hacked out. Sometimes it's more fun and it certainly makes the book better for it if I wander into the wilderness and make a new trail.
What works for me is editing as I go. Okay, I don't work on the first chapter for a million years and then only have 1 great chapter. Yeah, that doesn't finish a book. Ever. I'll write about 35-40k, then go back to the beginning to make sure it flows, there are no plot holes, see if I want to add anything, delete anything, etc.
I keep doing this until the book is finished. This also means that I never know how many words the book is going to end up with. Of course, that also means I don't feel as though I need to cut a scene short or not add a scene I think will make the story work better. Editing as I go, also means that I don't imagine every word I write is amazing. Not happening. If a scene or, hell, a chapter needs to be cut then . . .
Go check out what Bronwyn, Jessica, Jessica D, and Siobhan chose as their best and worst.