This is a video of Dean Wesley Smith talking about writing without outlining or “writing into the dark.” He details the process of cycling, which allows for clean copy and cuts revision.
My cycling process is little different. I can bounce around in the story like a ping ball. It’s sometimes the previous scene, and sometimes I might jump back to a connecting scene earlier in the book. I’m somewhat messy when I write. My creative likes to take all the toys out of the toy chest and toss them on the floor (sometimes in no particular order), then it wanders off and plays with a few and forgets about the others. So stubs of things get into the story, and never get used.
At the point when I’m doing the climax, I can usually tell because my creative brain gets the sudden urge to cycle through the entire story from the beginning. Then it’s pulling together everything…taking out those stubs that I completely forgot about and never used anywhere. The stubs are kind of like flash in the pan ideas. You know, things that sound exciting when I put them and then later, it has me scratching my head wondering what I expected to do with it.
In a way, cycling is a lot of fun because it keeps me reconnecting with the story!