I've been analyzing my writing process and I thought it might be fun to share it with you and see how it compares to your writing process. (Yeah, I know, I think about weird things, but I'm a writer, what can I say?)
First, I get out my writer's notebook. I write a sentence or two for each chapter as to what is going to happen in that chapter. For example:
Chapter One: We meet Rafe and he becomes a "hostage." Gary the HT has a super-secret file and a bomb.
Chapter Two: We meet Claire, the hostage negotiator. Goes to try to defuse the situation. Literally.
And so on I go. Then I sit at my computer and pound out my rough draft. Usually each chapter is about five pages long in the rough draft stage. Very basic dialogue, sketchy setting, etc.
Once that's done, I go back and add layers. It's funny to me how details for a scene will come to me, a bit of conversation to add, research on setting that appears in my mind's eye, just begging to be included. Of course as I flesh out my characters, the process of layering comes faster.
When the layers are there, I go back and check for five things:
1. Have I used the five senses? Sight, smell, touch, hearing, taste?
2. Does each scene further the story?
3. Is my dialogue natural?
4. Can I cut any fatty parts?
5. Is there any passive voice?
Then I go over it one more time for flow (because I'm fanatical like that), print it out, and read it out loud. (Honestly, there isn't any better way to find things that need editing). Send it to beta readers. Fix any problems they find, and finish with another edit for clarity and content. Then give it to my critique group to tear apart. Do a final edit and . . .
Then on to my editor to start the publishing process.
So what's your writing process? How do you arrive at a finished product?