My characters drive the story, sometimes in directions I hadn’t planned, and I let them get away with it. Principal characters have something to say and most also have a backstory, something they feel their audience should know. And the tyrants invite their friends and relations.
So, the story starts with a bare-bones idea and a couple of fictional people that I know almost nothing about. These egotistical beings sense my ignorance and just take over. If I’d allow it, they would still be yammering away on that very first story, probably feeding liquor to a hog or looking behind an old lady’s spare tire for miscreants or purloined pigs.
So, oftentimes, the story feels as if I’m just typing it into the laptop but don’t have much say about the who, where, or whatever. With so little control over how these stories are sometimes told, I don’t expect any praise for the telling, and certainly none from the characters themselves.