Often times I try to think over exactly how I put these voices in my head down on paper. I know some authors who outline the whole stinken' thing, right down to the last page, then they fill in the good stuff and have an amazing book. I tried this once for a NaNoWriMo book I wrote: whole crap!!! Really! It was CRAP!!! My sweet husband read it for me after I refused to look at it again on December 1st. Finally after a couple of days I asked him what he thought. He hummed and hawed then said something like, "well it isn't the best thing you have ever done." Code for, "It was CRAP!!!" I really have to give him props for chewing through that thing, it really was a bad one.
I for one have to know my character. I find pictures of people who represent what I am going for, or pictures of places and other things to help me set the mood. I need to know a little bit about my character by doing a brief character outline, then I pretty much turn my body and soul over to the story.
I remember once I was writing on one of those few days when all my kids were gone, and by the time I was done I felt like I had been wrung dry. I didn't have it in me to even eat something. My poor family knows when I am in the zone because it looks like the house has been eaten by the clutter monster and we are having cold cereal for dinner.
Needless to say, on the day that I asked myself how, and why, I do this crazy thing, I knew the answer almost immediately. I do it because I love it. I love telling a story and knowing people are enjoying themselves, letting the clutter monster eat their house for a while as they sit on the couch with a hot drink and enjoy the story that I have written. I guess it's Love.
So tell me, what is your answer to the query: How the heck do YOU do this thing called writing?