Stories however are a process. I can never understand how some authors can just start typing and within a few weeks, they have a completed story. I start with an idea, and then before that gets put to paper, I need to have a beginning, middle and an end. If I can't come up with an ending, I can't write a story.
The jot notes are next. I write out each part of the book in scenes, like a movie. I will include the dialogue, the setting, the characters, what everyone is saying, wearing, thinking. It's essentially a chopped up version of the book and probably takes more time than actually writing it. If I get toward the end and want to add a scene but didn't build up to it in the beginning, I am able to go back , add things in without ruining the whole story. There is nothing worse than reading a book where you can tell the author just dropped a paragraph in the middle of a page just for a higher word count. This process, for me, is crucial in having a steady flow. If I know something important is going to happen later on in the book, I can foreshadow it early on, build pages on it.
Once the jot notes are completed, I start the writing process. This is probably the easiest part. The only thing I try to be aware of as I'm writing, before the editing comes around, is that I don't repeat words too often, if I can help it. Thesaurus.com is my best friend. There is only so many times you can say, 'Great' or 'Flirtatious'. Sometimes, its intended, most times its not.
A friend of mine commented once about 50 shades of grey and Ana's use of the term 'Oh My'. Sarah Seltzer wrote a post solely based on this (Thank God for me) ( http://flavorwire.com/503325/holy-moses-oh-jeez-parsing-the-erotic-vocabulary-of-fifty-shades-of-grey)
Apparently E.L. James needed thesaurus.com. I can think of at least a dozen words that could replace 'oh my'. That being said, I did use the word 'club' 67 times in Altering Authority however in my defence, the only other words I found in my handy thesaurus were words like honky-tonk, dice joint and saloon.
Once the rough draft is typed up, then I have to read it. Multiple times. I get my husband to read it. My sister. My closest friends. They pick out any spelling errors, sentences that sound stupid... Word repetitions. Criticism is tough. Especially for someone like me who cries over EVERYTHING but, if you're going to share your stuff with the world, you kind of have to toughen up. What helps me is knowing that authors like J.K. Rowling, Stephen King and George R. R. Martin have critics as well. That's life and people are assholes.
Do you write? What does your process look like?