Hello everyone in the Blogosphere,
Today I’d like to share with you my five-step writing process. As you read the steps below, remember that each person’s process is different and you can revert back to previous steps if necessary. If you want to listen to my explanation of this process in greater detail, Please check out my latest episode of Inspirational Journeys:
Step 1: Plotting
This step is great for both the extensive outliner and the pantser with a plan. Some authors take this writing prep time to do research, get in some free writing to brainstorm ideas in a journal or notebook, whether digitally or by hand. If you’re a visual person, you may want to do a bit of mind mapping. For some authors, outlining is key to their success, while others find a story board useful for gathering their ideas. For me, plotting is simply writing down the bare bones of a story idea, which may be inspired by a dream or some other means, in my journal or in the notes app on my phone.
Step 2: Drafting
Here’s where the fun begins for some, and maybe not so much for others. It’s time to create your project, whether it be novel, nonfiction book, professional article, or personal essay for your blog or some other publication. For me, this is the fun part, because I get to build on the plotting I did at the beginning of this process. However, I may go back to that first step to do more brainstorming, when I get stuck or have a case of writers block.
Step 3: Revising
After your first draft is complete, the revision stage is where your WIP can be developed into a beautiful piece of writing. During this process, I dump scenes that don’t work in my journal, but you can also create a file or a folder in your writing software for such scenes, as you may want to pull from them later for a future story. After I do my scene dumping, I write new scenes that fit my story. If you like to write your WIP out of order, you can also spend time making sure your scenes flow in a linear fashion. I also add new elements and change dialogue to enhance my WIP, thus keeping my readers engaged.
Step 4: Editing
Many authors may see revising and editing as one in the same. However, I prefer to separate them, because after the first round or two of revision, I can go over the manuscript with a fine-tooth comb. Here’s where I cut out as many extraneous words as possible and correct spelling, punctuation, sentence structure etc. After you’ve done as much self-editing as possible, the next part of this step is either sending your manuscript out to beta readers, hiring a professional editor or both.
Step 5: Publishing and Book Marketing
After you’ve taken your book as far as you can go through the editing step, you have a wide range of options to choose from. You can format your manuscript or hire a professional to do the formatting for you, which is what I did. After formatting is complete, you have the option of where you want to distribute your eBooks, what print on demand publisher you want to use etc. If you don’t want to go that route, you can also submit your book to small publishing houses or pitch it to agents to possibly get a book deal with a traditional publisher. Remember, that once the book is in the hands of readers, it’s up to you to promote your book, no matter what publishing option you choose.
Feel free to use this process as a whole or in part to help you create your own process. Learning from authors in your community and writing/marketing experts, will help you figure out what works for you. Until next time, happy writing.
Love and prayers,