I thought I'd talk a little about process today. I always read with great interest what other writers say about how they work, so I definitely welcome feedback and comments. Also, I'll ask for some input towards the end, so feel free to chime in on that, too!
Here's my basic procedure when writing a short story, which is usually 2K -- 3K words:
1) Start with an idea. The idea can be any element of a story.
2) Pre-write the story for a while. I write in my head, working out some passages and verbal tools that I plan to use. I make sure that the idea is fully-formed with a beginning and an end.
3) Write about 750 words from the start. At that point I usually have a good idea of whether the story is going to truly work or not.
3A) Write the ending. Often times, but not always, I write out the ending at this point, to help not lose track of where I'm heading and how I need the character and tone to develop.
4) Revise. I know it's bad form, but I never have an unrevised first draft. I revise as I go.
5) Write out another 750 -- 1000 words.
7) Finish writing the story, if it's not finished at this point.
8) Proofread on-screen.
9) Revise, reading aloud from on-screen.
10) Get reader/s comments.
11) Edit from paper.
12) Read through on-screen one last time.
So I do a ton of editing and revising, and I do a lot of it as I go. I didn't bother writing steps in there for, "Jump back three paragraphs to make sure this flows the way I think it does." For novel-length writing, it's very similar, except that I prefer to work from at least a chapter outline, if not a fully detailed outline. I don't usually outline for things less than 5K, because they're usually fairly thoroughly pre-written in my head and I'm not going to forget them.
What do you guys think? Am I robbing myself of something valuable by not having that first draft that writers are supposed to crank out before ever erasing anything?
Oh, and practical stuff. If you'd like to read and comment on some of my WIP short stories, please let me know. I'm still working working out the best way to use on-line tools to facilitate that and haven't found a system I'm comfortable with. If you have ideas for that, let me know that, too.
And anyone who's looking for readers or betas, let me know. I love to help!