One author starts with an outline, complete from beginning to end. However when she sits down to do the actual writing, instead of starting at the beginning, she jumps around writing different "scenes." Somehow it works for her because when she puts all the "scenes" together her story is complete.
Another author-friend writes an outline and then sits down and writes it from beginning to end. I think this is the most popular method with a little variation here and there.
However, for me it is quite different. When I sit down to write I have only an "idea." There is no outline. No list of scenes. I don't even know where it will end. I start at the beginning and, as though watching a movie in my head, write down what I "see" and "hear". Sometimes the characters don't do or say what I want and get a little sidetracked or seemingly on purpose run me into a brick wall. When that happens I have to back them up and take another go at it. In the end, when I reach the end, I am just as surprised you, the reader. It's a method that works best for me because if I figure out the ending before I get there, I am paralyzed mentally and can't write it.
So, tell me, how do you write?