You know what's kind of funny? Well, not funny haha, more funny strange. I don't feel like I write stories in the conventional way. At least, not in the way I thought I would when I first decided to write.
Obviously, I don't know how it is for all other writers, but, for me, I feel like the stories I write are already written in my head. Does that sound weird? Probably does because it sounds weird to me and I'm the one thinking it. It almost seems like I get an idea, I write it down, and that's when the story is first uncovered for me. Like the idea was in my head all along, I just hadn't found it yet. Then comes the outlining. I start to outline and determine what actions my characters take and the sequence of those events. When I stop to think about their motivations, they're already there. Again, like the characters knew all along what was driving them to act in a specific way without telling me why first. It's only when I stop to ask them why it is they're doing something (especially if it is something I don't like) do I find out.
Sometimes (most of the time) I think writing is this nutty experiment for me to empty my head of all these crazy ideas. Although I think it's probably helping my sanity some. After all, it can't be healthy for me to walk around with a half dozen fully complete novels in my head :)