A big thanks to Shallee for hosting today's blogfest!
First off, I'm not a pantser...completely. After inspiration has struck, I usually spend about a week letting myself get acquainted with the characters and every nook and cranny of the story in my head. This is my favorite part of writing. When I have to have a pad of paper close by 24/7 because ideas are flying at me left and right and I can't keep up. This is falling in love.
This does not last. Because I have to write the first draft. Those characters? Turns out they need back stories and nuances and imperfections and physical traits. Those nooks and crannies? They're filled with possibilities. And cobwebs. This is our first big fight. There will be many more to come.
We make up when I type "The End" that first time. I may need to
break up shove it in a drawer for awhile. But I can't stop thinking about it. Mostly, that first revision, I spend most of the time thinking of ways to be a lot more horrible to my characters. Really, really horrible. If I threw rocks at them in the first draft, I need to figure out how to throw grenades. (I should mention I'm a fairly "clean" first drafter. Grammar is in my blood, so I don't have to spend too much time fixing commas and misspelled words and whatnot. If anything, I have to spend some time "unfixing" it. Loosen up the dialogue and such.) But I'm committed at this point. I'm getting antsy for a ring.
At this point, it's time to get a 2nd (and 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th...) opinion. Off to the beta readers. Premarital counseling, if you will.