I first grew a starter about 18 months ago. I would throw half out, and feed with equal amounts of flour and water each day for about a week. But my process of rising involved mixing up a bowl of sponge, letting it bubble up, then adding flour. But then I would only let it sit for about 4 hours and it would rise a little as it baked, but was too dense. I wasn't sure how long to leave it to rise.
A friend lent me a library book with recipes which I scanned and have looked onto while baking sourdough. I began by mixing 50 50 warm water, and starter. Then I would add some flours, and knead it every ten minutes, then every hour, then I would divide it into two loaves, put it in a tin, then let it rise for 3 to 4 hours. The bread doubled in size, and was much more soft in texture. But using this recipe I would make a new starter each time I baked. Now I have read some information on this website, I will go back to storing the starter in the fridge like I used to.