Step one: Find inspiration. Lots of things give me ideas for stories. Artwork, anthology themes, movies, wikipedia, nature documentaries, history, etc. Honestly, this is one of the easier steps for me.
Step two: Write! I like to sit down and write my first drafts in one sitting. (Obviously we’re talking about short stories here. I’ve only written one novel, I don’t have a process yet.) I get grumpy if I get interrupted. I think that’s why so many of my stories end up under or around 2,000 words.
Step three: Read what I’ve written, do light revisions.
Step four: Force my husband to read it. Well, really I just need SOMEONE to read it at this step. It’s like a compulsion. And Paul is very good at reading it and assuring me that it’s not embarassingly awful.
Step five: Try to wait a few days before I look at it again and do more edits. This is pretty much the hardest thing. I’m not a patient person. O_o Honestly, this step gets skipped about half the time.
Step six: Force more people to read and critique it.
Step seven: Do a final edit based on critique feedback.
Step eight: Submit.