About ninety-five percent of the time (at least) I have already decided which prompt my story will be used for, before I've even started the story. Indeed I'll write the story to fit the prompt in a lot of cases, and if I haven't done this, I will always decide on what the prompt will be before I post my story.
I'll also often prompt my WIP stories, or even stories for which I have an idea but haven't actually started. I have a copy of each challenge table in separate Word files, colour co-ordinated. One colour for prompted posted stories, one for prompted completed but not yet posted stories, and one for prompted in progress stories, and I keep a total tally for each. This means that at any time without having to log on to LJ, I can easily keep track of how many stories I have left for a particular challenge, what prompts I have left, what prompt I'd planned to use for a particularly story, etc.
I have one of these tables for each challenge.
||How It Should Be
||Ducky sick story
||Perchance To Dream
||Waiting For You
||Tears That Heal
||Until It's Gone
07 Prompted, posted stories
01 Prompted Finished stories
01 Prompted ‘In Progress’ Stories (includes actual WIPs and stories where I know what I'm going to write about, but haven't actually started.
01 Prompts to go i.e prompts not yet sorted out with stories
I'll also immediately, or on the odd occasion within twenty-four hours, make the post to the relevant Challenge Community, and update my link table, etc. Basically, I do it on a story-by-story basis. The only time I won't post to the Challenge Community immediately (or within twenty-four hours) upon posting the story elsewhere, is if it is a gift story. Then I'll certainly wait until the person for whom it has been written has read it, and usually, with the 'Fiction Exchange' kind, will wait a few days before posting to the Challenge Community. I'll also, unless the rules of the particular Challenge Community say otherwise, post a link to the story rather than the story itself.
Aingeal doesn't work like this. She generally tends to have an idea for a story, write it, post it, and then at a later stage think about prompts for one or more stories. At that point she does a 'batch prompt' and then posts to the Challenge Communities.
Two such completely different ways. I was wondering what other people generally did.
Write the story to fit the prompt? Or find the prompt after you've written the story?
Not post the story until you've fitted a prompt to it? Or post the story and think about the prompt later?
Prompt on a story-by-story basis? Or 'batch prompt' several stories at a time?
Post the story/link to the relevant Challenge Community immediately? Or wait days, weeks, months even, before posting the story/link to the relevant Challenge Community?
Putting aside the Challenge Community rules, post a link to the relevant Challenge Community? Or post the story to the relevant Challenge Community?