I have recently learned that some readers are actually interested in how different writers write, therefor I present my somewhat unique method.
I start usually with a knick knack or picture. This prompts a story. As my Fox Tails always employ a fox as one of the lead characters the knick knack or picture is most often a fox. Somehow from the image I discern if the fox in this story will be the hero or the heroine. I determine, simply because I so desire, to choose who is feminine and who is masculine. Being a writer is a powerful potion.
Then I get a pile of index cards and plot out several scenes in a few short sentences. I then arrange them in some sort of order. (not necessarily logical order)
Next the characters need to be defined. I often use traits from people I know, sometimes traits I wish I had or those I am glad I do not have. Next is what is the reason for telling this story. Will it benefit mankind or promote some good in the world? I must admit I write to promote cooperation among divergent beliefs. Since this is my goal, I do my best to make the force of the story a noble endeavor.
In my current work the hero and heroine are charged with protecting the Eleventh Commandment. A commandment that up till now, no one save the Pope, and the Blessed Mother know exists. If the commandment is protected the Devil will be sealed away for all time and only goodness shall prevail upon the earth. As this is also a love story the pair must find a way to obtain human form. Initially the heroine is a gargoyle and the hero a fox. In subsequent posts I shall reveal how they are transformed.
For now we will proceed with the manner in which I write. As I like to have everything at my fingertips I use a flow chart that I draw on the inside of a manila file folder. I assign a different color for each character and draw lines where they connect with one another. On a post it note I place a brief description of the scene. I find this method superior to writing a long outline as when you accumulate several pages it is hard to find where you are at the moment. On one sheet you can see where you are and where you want to go. It is most helpful (to me at least) to have both the beginning sentence and the ending sentence, then all you have to do is fill in the middle. Using a flow chart you can see what needs to happen to get you to the ending sentence. This is not to say this is the only thing I follow as sometimes other things become more pressing, such as a character firmly stating I will not do that.
The flow chart is simply a road map, however side trips are allowed. Which is why I use post it notes. If this scene doesn't work, tear it off and write another. I write to entertain and enlighten. I am not a history teacher and my frequent flights of fancy are in no way actual events.
If anyone wishes further information on this method feel free to contact me.