Justine Larbalestier posted an IM conversation the other day, with "The Demon's Lexicon" author, Sarah Rees Brennan.
I'd advise writers to go read the conversation. One, it's funny and entertaining. Two, it's interesting to see how two YA authors' processes differ. I am one of those people always quick to point out that what works for one writer may not for another, because we are different people with different ways of thinking, and thus different ways of writing and planning out a book. [Different, different, different. :P] Larbalestier's post is a nice way of depicting these variations, because the pair seem to be on almost opposite sides of the issue when it comes to talking about one's book in its earliest stages. Whether to talk about your story in its zero draft, opening yourself to brainstorming and to critique, or to keep it to yourself until that first draft is complete.
I think some of my own problems lately may be because I fall on Larbalestier's end of the spectrum, but don't necessarily act in the best way for that process. I especially like this metaphor of Larbalestier's:
"JL: But someone criticising a zero draft is kind of like someone criticising a souffle on the basis of a few of the ingredients laid out on a table, but not yet made into a, you know, souffle.
I can’t stand people weighing in before I know what it is I’m doing. Before I can see the souffle. Because then they’ll try and make it into a cheesecake or, I don’t know, an aardvark or something."
The whole thing is fun to read, but it really jived with me after that point (as well as taking a strange-humorous turn).
I don't want to post all the great quotes and ideas in there, because there are a lot of nice lines, so anyone intrigued should read it in its entirety.