I write things in parts. I don't put the same beat through the whole song usually, sometimes i do tho its rare. i just work on things part by part, like i write the entire part usually before i write the next part so on and so on. I try to get 3 solid parts, then i do things to bridge them together and write stuff just for transitions. Then sometimes i go back through the whole song to add leads, or sounds fx, fills and drop outs and build ups that goes on during the final arrangement stages.
Layering was way easier when i worked on a real mixer, with a midi sequencer running my entire mix via midi real time. Analog mixers usually can mix a busy layered mix a lot better. ITB man, if you try and do to much layering you get mud city. So it really kind of sucks. Now if you want super loud mixes you have to keep the mix simpler and simpler. New vac is not as complex as old vac for this reason, i am working in the box with a lot of software and the head room is much less it seems. Still I cannot afford to work that old way anymore.
I play a lot of music, when i start getting into writing i will learn how to play other songs from other bands. That will get me in the mood to not just do the same thing over and over and it teaches me to start from different points as well. I have no set way really, i just sit down and start fucking with something till i get it to sound good, then i build a house on top of it. Like I can start with a beat, a riff, a bass line, or a lead, or even pads and string arrangements, there is no set point for me, i just write using anything i reach for.
Dance music usually is simple, because it has to be loud, and people are stupid when they are drunk and do not want complicated shit. cause it makes them fuck up when they dance. so think of it that way.
I unlike most of these morons in the scene appreciate all kinds of music. I am able to play many instruments as well, bass, guitar, violin, keys, and drums. I learn how to play all kinds of music and that helps do things that set me apart from the typical bullshit you hear in the scene. I also like to use sounds in my VAC style. This is why VAC's catalog is all over the place covering so many genre styles and songs that sound nothing alike.