Cowley explained how a story or novel is written by most writers. It went this way –
1. The Germ of the Story
The writer comes up with an idea for a story. It could be something the writer has experienced, witnessed, felt, heard about, or read about. An inspiration strikes the writer and the process begins.
2. The Conscious Meditation
The writer's imagination takes over and the writer meditates. A mix of conscious and unconscious thoughts perk in the writer's mind. The writer thinks of a way to present the story. Who are the characters? Where is the story set? When? What happens in the story?
Many writers compose an outline, some detailed, some sketchy. The outlines is often revised as the story is written.
3. The First Draft
Written quickly, it is an expansion of the outline. Remember – get it written, then get it right.
4. The Rewrite(s)
After the first draft, the writer takes the time to edit or rewrite the story, often more than once, to polish it until it sparkles.
This sounds simplistic and it may not apply to all. I know Harlan Ellison often skipped #4. He wrote one draft and that was it.
Writing a novel is like construction a building and revision is turning the building into a house a human can live in.
Good luck to everyone in the middle of this pandemic. It ain't easy.
That's all for now.