This is what mine looks like:
1) Freewriting. With or without prompts, I just write like a maniac and try not to censor myself at all (which often results in some of my best ideas). While freewriting, I am shocked to meet characters whom I never intended to write about, whom I am meeting for the very first time as I type. I am surprised by what my characters say and do and the events that occur while I am writing without censorship. Granted, this draft usually makes little or no sense, can stop in the middle of a sentence, and will include scenes that will never make it past this stage. Themajority of this draft will disappear by the end.
2) Organizing. I look back through the junk I’ve generated and try to make some sort of sense out of it.
3) Editing. Now back through it again to make it look and sound better. Cut excess words, add better imagery. I am terrible at description and don’t include it very naturally, so at this stage, I’ll try to graft some into the paragraphs so that others can see what I’m seeing.
4) Feedback. A MUST. At this stage, my writing group and some select other friends will need to look it over, or I can’t go any further with the piece. I NEED constructive criticism and outside eyes to tell me what works and what doesn’t. I need people to tell me “I don’t think Joey would say such-and-such” or “if Stacy finds out about that secret that early, you won’t have any tension in your story.”
5) Repeat steps 1-4. For a long time, maybe years. And I pray about what I’m writing too. I ask God to move me in the right direction with my stories.
What does your creative process look like?