Okay, so once I have a road map (story structure) sorted out, I write the First Draft. I just finished the First Draft of a novella, in fact.
Depending on what kind of story I’m writing, I’m shooting for an approximate wordcount by the time I kick it out the door. Seems like most writers I know go waaaaay over their wordcount goal and then have to cut, cut, cut. Not me. I come in waaaay under wordcount on the First Draft. This is because I have a very visual imagination and I’m always forgetting that my readers are not telepathic. I can see the story, but they can’t. I need to create those pictures I see so that they can too. That means I need to write Description and from all five senses. I swear it’s like pulling wisdom teeth for me.
On the First Draft, I have the heart of the story, the conversations and the emotions and motivations and such. But, I only have about half of what I need before it’s polished. This is where most of the fun ends and the work really begins for me. There’s still some fun stuff left to do, but most of it is just nose-to-the-grindstone, revise and edit and knit-pick and polish, which is satisfying, but not necessarily sunshine and butterflies.