I enjoy writing my first draft on paper. I guess I like the feel of the pencil scraping across the paper.
Sometimes I might go through a few drafts on paper. But eventually my writing makes it to my pc. Once it gets there it more than likely goes through a few more revisions before my critique group will see it. If I make any major changes once I have it in the puter, then I will actually create a folder and save them separately. You never know when that first idea might be what you want to go back to. I learned that the hard way of course. ;P
Now as far as the mechanics of how I write. It really depends.
If I’m writing a story (pbs here) I want to get the beginning and ending down pact. I usually know my ending first with some sketchy ideas for the beginning. I used to go helter-skelter, but now I’ve learn the importance of having a outline to go by. And yes, it doesn’t always work. But it does give me a nudge to where I want my story to go, and the pacing and the flow that I want is there and stays on track.
My articles pretty much have an outline no matter what. Your word count is usually less for these and I want to make sure I make the most of them. Non-fiction articles are the ones I depend on my outline the most. I like to squeeze in the most facts and get the best pop for my story I’m writing.
Now with longer pieces… I’m still struggling with those. BUT I’m learning. Being a pb writer you learn “not to do the illustrators job”, where as with a mid-grade or even a chapter book you have more room to be descriptive with your writing. I like reading a book that is rich with description, but I amazed to see just how much work it was to bring that into your text.
Now matter HOW you write, go with what feels right to you. But at the same time be open to other ideas and opportunities to learn HOW to write better. In the end, I think I’m a better writer by seeing, listening, and doing what others have shown me.