A writing process is kind of like pregnancy, each person’s experience is different, and even with the same woman, each pregnancy (or book) takes different techniques, coping methods and ways of working.
Now, I’ve never been pregnant, but I have written several books.
Whether you’re writing your first book or your tenth, you’re still figuring out a process. You never have to *stop* trying new writing things or settle on one process for the rest of your career. The beauty of writing is that it is different for different people, situations and books. Your needs will change, and your process can change to reflect that.
Here’s a bit about my basic process:
- I like to spend a few weeks brainstorming, gathering a playlist, writing snippets of scene ideas or character bios, and just playing with the story
- I write a few sentences of summary for major scenes and then a brief outline or list of ideas for in-between scenes
- Depending on my schedule, I like to leave that outline/brainstorming document for a while and work on something else
- For the first draft, I write almost every day, with word count goals and a self imposed deadline (that I don’t usually make, to be honest)
- Then I like to leave the book for at least a month while I either outline or edit another project
- One round of editing myself
- I send the book to my beta readers while going back to another project (usually the same one as in step 5)
- I make the changes from beta readers and do other edits if I’ve found more places in my novel that need the help
- After that, my novel goes to a professional editor for a line edit
- I make her suggested changes
- Then my editor and I proofread it together, and viola! Finished book.
I’ll put more detail about each step if a future post if you guys want to know more. I highly suggest checking out this book. It really helped me with my first novel, and while I don’t need to be as immaculate with my outlining anymore, I still reference it from time to time.
I’d love to hear about your writing processes in the comments!