My Process!I write for myself. I love stories and since my imagination always runs wild, I have a lot to write about. When I get a story into my head, I sit down and outline. I sometimes write character notes. I write down the most important scenes on Post-Its and stick them in my notebook so that if something needs to be changed it’s an easy fix. Then I sit down and go for it. Sometimes I get a little shy and worried that I might be going too far. These are the times when I get stuck, but recently I was told that just going for it is the best way. Besides things change during the editing process.
Let me break everything down a little more for you. Okay, when I get a story idea, I write as much down as possible. Then I sit down with all these elements and piece them together. I can see my characters in my mind and I can see what their story is. For me as the writer, I’m trying to tell it the best way possible. This is where I outline everything in a notebook. There are always elements that come to me later or that I choose not to add to the outline. These go onto Post-Its. I place them on the chapter page that I think it might fit. If it doesn’t, I can move them to a different part of the story or ditch the idea all together. Then I sit down and write the story. I do get stuck on one part even though I try my hardest to keep going. That’s when I look at what I have and play with it to see why I’m stuck. Generally, this gets me going again until I’ve finished the initial copy.
Now it’s editing time. Writing a novel is like pottery. Your initial draft of your story is like a lump of clay. Editing is like shaping that piece of clay into something interesting and beautiful.
When I start to edit, I go through, looking at the characters to make sure they are consistent through the story. A lot of meat of the story usually gets added in during this edit. Then I give it to my beta readers who love to mark up the manuscript. I highly recommend beta readers; people who you can trust to tell you the truth and praise the good points. I go through their notes and fix whatever they found. Sometimes I don’t take their advice, but generally I do since they have read the story with fresh eyes and have no emotional ties to this book (well until the end when I get an ear full about how I must hate them for keeping them in suspense). Once everything is changed, I give it to my editors and they go through it. When I get it back, I make the changes that need to be made. Now you don’t have to make all the changes they suggest, but you should definitely be open to what they are suggesting. After I finished all the changes that my editors and I have discussed, I give it back to my beta readers to look it over one more time, then it goes back to the editors. Anything that was missed is fixed and then it’s off to the printers.
And that’s my writing process. I know, it’s a lot but in the end when the story shines and your characters come to life between the pages, it’s SO worth it!
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