1 ) Write some good stuff
2 ) Write some more good stuff
3 ) Fall in love, but realize it needs some work
4 ) Put everything in order
5 ) Try to write some more, fail, repeat, fail, repeat. A lot of it is good, but where is it going?
6 ) Sit down and do a plot — either with index cards or a chapter-by-chapter or some other method
7 ) Begin writing again with confidence, finish one or two scenes.
8 ) Plot begins to change
9 ) Try to project forward
10 ) Plot continues to change, get more and more nervous, go to step 9, until…
11 ) I get lost. Backtrack a little bit, turn left at Albuquerque, proceed.
12 ) Repeat 9&10, perhaps 11, until…
13 ) First draft done
Then edit the hell out of it.
See, that’s all there is to it. Easy as pie 🙂