via The Rumpus:
Rumpus: In terms of how you work, how many drafts do you usually put your stories through? How planned out are they in advance, and what do you start with?
Means: I could never plan them out in advance beyond a small seed, maybe an image, or a character in a specific predicament. I might have more of a story in mind, but I hold it for a long time before I write about it. I’m still holding onto all of my family stuff. When I’m ready, when I’m inspired, I’ll start to write a rough draft by hand. After typing it up, sometimes months later, I’ll begin to revise. Some stories take many, many drafts over a long period of time. Each story has its own set of demands. I think it was William Maxwell who said you need to respect the story as much as possible. I throw stories away. Sometimes I hold onto the early draft for a few years and let my subconscious do the work. I have a long credo tacked to the wall. Part of it says: “Do not compromise. Go as deep as you can. If in the end it has to be thrown away, throw it away.”