I see everyone's talking about their writing methods. Denise's makes me itch, can I just say?
My method is a lack of method. I used to have a better one. I had writing "time" -- working it through my kids' naps and everything. I'd prepare my chapter in my head the night before.
Now that they're teenagers and their schedules are all over the place, I find that my writing time is as well. For some reason their schools seem to be off more than they're on and so planning any type of schedule is often a joke. Right now, I'm without a deadline. By choice, but I find I'm not actually accomplishing anything, so that may have been a mistake on my part. And while I'd like to fix it, it's very fun having time to myself to meet the local girls at the coffee shop and make sure that everyone is where they need to be, the bills are paid, there's food in the fridge. You know, normal mom stuff.
When I go back to writing however, here's my process:
I write the first five chapters over and over again. I've tried to plot, plan and make it happen, but the book always bores me and I lose interest. So while I start with a plot and a goal, it somehow changes as the character grows. So I write the first five chapters about six times until I get to the middle and then I finish it pretty cleanly.
When it comes to editing, I read through my edits and then I ponder them until it's in my head what needs to happen. Then I edit straight through as well. That pondering time is what gets me a little insane. To change big things means I have to find the right motive and I would say that's where most of my brain work goes in any book: why would she do this? Why does she feel like this? I always want my fiction to be based on a truth that is universal. I always want to answer a question for myself when I write a book.
In my latest, "The Scent of Rain" -- I wanted to ask the question, "What happens when everything we think we want isn't what we need? How do we get to the truth of who we are?" Add an interest in the perfume industry, a little research and that's how I get to the book. That central question must be there for me to be interested enough to finish it. Apparently, I have all the answers now because I don't have an idea. Bahaha (kidding, I'm kidding!)
So, this begs the question. Is that even a method? You be the judge.