"My Writing Process Blog Tour."
Yay me! *wink*
The blog tour includes wonderful authors who explain their writing processes. So be sure to check out the blog link above and the three below. And in the meantime, I will attempt to explain my own process. YIKES.
I'm currently working on two projects ... at the same time ... which is nuts. In the past I've only worked on one project at a time, but when I tried to decide what story to write next, there were two ideas that just would not leave me alone. And as a result, I'm working on them at a parallel pace. And no, I won't give you a description, yet. For now they are both my little secrets, but I will tell you that they are thrillers for the young adult market.
1. I read as many award winning and best-selling books as I possibly can.
2. I read books on the craft of novel writing, and especially before I begin writing a new story, I read a NEW book on the craft that I've not read before. This really helps refresh my brain on the skills and techniques involved in great writing. Usually while I'm reading, my brain will spark with character and plot ideas for my next manuscript.
3. I write a query letter, or an elevator pitch, or a quick summary ... BEFORE I write the story. I have found that this makes writing the manuscript easier. First of all, by writing out the pitch, I can make sure the idea is going to work and then stay on track. I even pass that pitch on to my beta readers and critique partners to get their feedback. It's amazing what kind of plot problems people can pick out just from your short pitch.
4. Once I've polished the idea, then I use Blake Snyder's Beat Sheet to rough out the main ideas of my plot. I'm mostly a "pantser" when it comes to writing, but I've found that by outlining the big ideas or main points of my story I can work out problems ahead of time and save effort later.
5. Character development exercises from books by James Frey and Donald Maass have helped me get to know my characters better before I start writing.
6. Then I jump in and write the first draft. I *try* to finish the first draft without revising and editing; otherwise (because I'm such a perfectionist) I would be stuck forever polishing the first chapter.
7. Revising is my favorite part. I start with the overall big ideas and work my way down to the small individual word choices. I believe every word needs to move the plot forward or develop a character. If the word, sentence, paragraph, scene, or chapter doesn't do one of these two things, then it either needs to be cut or seriously revised for improvement.
8. While I'm in the revision stage, I will send chapters off to my awesome critique partners. They lovingly rip my work to shreds, and then I revise it again. I prefer to stage my critique partners so that they are not reading the same version. I will usually send a chapter to one critique partner, revise as necessary, and then send it to another partner for new feedback.
9. Once I'm satisfied with the manuscript I will send it to a few beta readers who tend to look at the bigger overall story rather than nit-picky little details. I make necessary improvements based on their feedback.
10. I send the manuscript to my ROCK STAR agent. After she reads it, she sends me an editorial letter with suggestions for improvement. And I revise again (because her suggestions are always spot-on, and I always slap myself in the head and ask, why didn't I see that sooner?)
11. My agent submits my manuscript to editors at publishing houses. If the planets are aligned properly, it sells. Then the editor sends me a new editorial letter, and I revise again (slapping myself in the head again, asking, why did I not see that sooner?!)
12. And then I start the writing process all over again.
Want to read about other writers? Check out these awesome people. Visit and follow their blogs now, and then check back with them on March 28th when they'll feature a post about their writing processes:
In her younger days, Nicole Singer snuck out of bed far too often to read by the glow of her nightlight. Not much has changed in 20 years, except she’s learned to keep the light on and her late nights now consist of reading AND writing. She writes fantasy and is currently working on a space-opera series, as well as outlines for a middle grade fantasy, YA steampunk and a historical fantasy. Her short stories have appeared in Soundings Review, Running in the Dark and the e-anthology Overcoming Adversity. As a public relations counselor, she also has written and edited articles for a variety of publications and assisted with promotions for three nonfiction book launches.
Artemis Grey was raised on fairy tales and the
folklore of Appalachia. She can often be found writing by a crackling fire or
romping through the woods on horseback. It is her hope to make readers look at
the world they’ve always seen, and see the world they’ve always envisioned. She
has had five poems published in Poetry Pact 2011 (Volume 1) and several
short stories in the online magazine Underneath The Juniper Tree.
What does your writing process look like?