If there's one thing I've learned over the last year it's that there are an infinite number of ways to approach writing. There's plotting, there's pantsing and there's all the wonderful methods in between and somewhere way off in left field.
Now, I think 'the process' is such a nebulous thing that it can be hard to explain, especially since it rarely makes complete sense even in my own mind. But I'll give it a shot.
I think I'm a weird sort of plotter hybrid. The beginnings of each MS start out differently. Sometimes it's a character that sticks in my mind and I build an MS around him or her. Sometimes I think 'what if a very uptight corporate woman met an equally driven playboy and they had to get married?' and build characters and reasoning from there. In the case of this last MS, I decided I wanted to do another marriage of convenience, because they're about my favorite plot line, so I spent some time thinking of characters and situations and stuck with the one I was able to imagine most clearly.
So from the little seeds of an idea I created my characters, Sabrina and Cade for this MS, and I started thinking about who they were, why they were that way, and what would ultimately cause conflict between them. What's going to stop them from just confession true love when it's clear they're right for each other? And how are they going to overcome it?
So after I had their internal conflict and their back story I thought, okay, now how can I throw them together. I was aiming for MOC with this one and after I came up with the reasons they would both agree to it I started thinking of what journey they needed to take.
I know their issues so the next step is to figure out what they need to grow. I always try to think of what someone with their particular set of conflicts would need to overcome in order to fall in love. What do they need to get from each other? What do they need to find on their own? So, I don't know that I plot events as much as 'milestones' I feel my characters need to reach inside so that they can grow.
Then of course I like to have my 'black moment' planned, and then a rough idea of the resolution. Rarely do I write any of this down, but I actually did this time.
However, I reserve the right to change whatever I want during the writing process, or get rid of an element I see isn't working.
So I guess I plot to give myself a direction, and then I pants as needed. :-)
What's your method for crafting a story?