My creative process has five parts.
Part 1 (Spark): This is when the whole work, in a nebulous rush, arrives in my head. All of it comes at once, maybe more than I can handle, but it has no definition. Nothing can be done with it yet. It occurs the same for all my endeavours--stories, business, papers, whatever. It occurs often with some other thing as a catalyst. Like say I hear a snippet of odd conversation, that'll spark an idea. Music get my juices flowing, or reading things, or seeing how things work or wondering how things work. The spark happens in a flash.
Part 2 (discovery or framework): In this chunk I think through the logistics of a real-world execution of the sparked idea. This is where outlining takes place--outlining, research, technique. I like the word "discovery" for it because often this step is more of a rearranging of the world into a good shape rather than any intense product of my mind, or it feels like that. "Framework" is also a good word, though, because this step is like construcing a skeleton.
Part 3 (articulation or fleshing): In the great scheme of things, the least important part. This is where the bulk of time is spent, however, in the most visible bits. In writing, this is where most of the drafts appear. This, however, is the draft that will never see the light of day and only serves to give enough shape to my outline so I know what the story is supposed to eventually be. This part, ironically, is the part that writers are most famous for doing, and if we aren't doing it our loved ones assume that no work is happening. The truth of it is that the fleshing step squanders more time than any step except, perhaps, the lastest step.
Part 4 (revision or dressing): In this step the "fleshed" or "articulated" stage is given beauteous form. It is, after the second step, the least valued and, after the second step, the most important stage in this process.
Part 5 (showing): And this is where the product is seen. Without this step it is questionable, in my opinion, how real it is.
Whew. That is all. Just wanted to get that out there while I had it on my mind.