I was reading a bit in the thread on how do we decide the gender of characters, and that got me to ruminating about my writing process. When I am uninspired and am trying to write something anyway, I am aware of actually making choices: that's when I choose a topic, choose how the story starts and eventually how it ends, and I may change my mind and question my choices. I craft those stories with effort. There are other times though when the story just seems to come out on its own accord, fully formed, almost effortless, and I feel like I have not consciously made any choices at all. It's almost like the story was already there, and I just wrote it down, and sometimes I wonder in awe where those ideas came from. And that's how the stories that I am usually most pleased with emerge. Do any of you have similar experience? What do you think: is writing more about decision making or more inspiration ideas that come as insights from who knows where? If you too have the experience of some stories being crafted through decisions while others came to you just like that, do you think that the crafted stories can be as good or even better than the inspired ones, or is there something to those stories that originate within and just tell themselves that makes them more powerful?