As I grow as a writer, I tend to experiment with methods. As you can see in the side bar, I'm working on another book--women's fiction. Finish one. Start another.
But this time, with the help of my critique partners, I'm laying out the groundwork ahead of time. Kind of like building a house. Can't do it without a good blueprint, if you're obsessive like me.
I've tried the panster method (did I even spell that word right??) and it doesn't work--not if I want layers in my book.
And from reading some great how-to books lately on writing fiction, I know layers count. So does motivation and inner conflict.
Last night I wanted to jump out of bed at two am and write notes. Yup. I found what one of my characters needs. His secret, more inner conflict and the way he can become a hero through self-sacrifice.
So I'm happy my method of shaping the first few chapters is working. For me it is. I'm laying the groundwork for future layers now and I think that might eliminate a lot of work later.
What method have you found through trial and error that works best for you?