So people talk/ask a lot about process, and I generally give the simplest, shortest answer possible because the long version makes almost no sense.
But here’s how I REALLY write.
1. Almost never in order.
2. With brackets.
3. With highlighted “…” <–ellipses that show I have no idea how to continue the sentence/idea.
4. With panic.
5. In whatever order I feel like.
Let’s have an example. Examples are fun, yes?
[Start with MC just after the death, lying on the floor of empty house] <–brackets show up all over my drafts
Which then becomes:
I’d rather stay. Stay and become part of the house, just let myself seep into it, become part of the floor, or a wall, or maybe sink into the very bones of it.
Aside from the pale blue walls, it seems so blissfully bare. Hollow. I slide to the carpet amid the little dents that furniture leaves behind, and let my fingers wander over the depressions… <–uh oh, ellipsis V does not know where to go from here! Hopefully she will figure that out!!
So let’s say I panic and decide to skip ahead because it’s a first draft and I am allowed to do that!
Maybe the next scene I want to write comes several chapters later, and I don’t know what I want to write in between! So I will make a vague shot list of things I know need to happen…
1. MC#1 gets up, leaves house with family
2. Cut to MC#2 intro
3. MC#2 flashback sad <–yes I’ve written things like that, but *I* know what is supposed to go there :p…hopefully.
4. BIG BAD
5. Back to MC#1 at new house
Oh oh oh, #5 is the one I want to write. So I stop and open a new document and start drafting.
NOTE: I don’t let myself skip too many scenes at once, so I will force myself to go back, figure out, and write #2-4 before I get to play PLOT HOPSCOTCH with #6-10 etc etc.
Make any sense?
Well, I suppose this is all to say that drafting isn’t always clean! My first drafts involve FRIGHTENING numbers of open word documents, and a kind of patchwork that I then have to go back and smooth out.
I envy the people who write in simple, linear order, but it’s not for me. Because the WAY things are written is so important to me, it’s better for me to write snippets of scenes–lines where I am happy with the rhythm, the cadence–even if they don’t come next.
You have to do whatever works for you.