Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Process

Cross posted from The Writing Spectacle because, duh, I was supposed to post this here and posted there by mistake.  Hey, we had storms in the middle of the night, so I was up from 2am to like 3:15am and then I couldn't get back to sleep because of the coffee, so cut me some slack.  ;o)


The Process

Every writer has their own process.  Correction, every writer has a process and adjusts it as needed.  Or maybe the adjusting is just me.  Anyway, here's how the process is working out for me...

Step One: First draft - write as many words as I can every day so that it takes me about a month to get the first draft done.

Step Two: Set the first draft aside and work on something else for a week or two.

Step Three:  Read the first draft all the way through on the Kindle, taking notes as I go in a big 5-subject notebook of anything I see that needs fixing.  This can be as small as a comma or as big as noting that I need to rewrite an entire chapter.

Step Four: Second draft - Input notes all the way through.

Step Five:  Read through the second draft, taking notes as I go and inputting them when I take breaks.  If I did my job in step three, this should be small to medium things.

Step Six: Repeat Steps 4 and 5 until I know I can't make it any better on my own.

Step Seven:  Send to my editor.  Wait a month.  Work on something else while I'm waiting.

Step Eight: Receive edit notes back from editor and input those.  Takes a week or two depending on how bad it was and how driven I am.

Step Nine: Send the manuscript back to the editor.  Wait 2-3 weeks.  Finalize cover and blurb while I'm waiting and find something else to work on.

Step Ten: Receive final edit notes from the editor.  Input those.  Also takes a week or two depending.

Step Eleven:  Read through the book on the Kindle again, checking for mistakes I made or missed.

Step Twelve: Format book for publication.

Step Thirteen: Publish

There are probably things I missed, but that's the gist.  And it seems to be working for me.

I started this particular process back in November, I think, with Natural Causes.  Step 1 was the month of November, then I jumped into Step 2 almost immediately.  Went through Steps 2-6 from the end of November until February 1st, when it was due at the editor.  Then I spent February doing Step 1 for Wish Hits the Fan.  Step 8 for Natural Causes begins this week. After I send NC back to the editor again, I'll be hitting 2-6 for WHTF and hope to have it ready to send to the editor by May 1st, which will be after the launch of NC in April.  :fingers crossed:  While she has WHTF, I'll be working on finishing the first draft of Early Grave.

Good lord willin' and the creek don't rise.

Now, you may notice I don't have early readers anywhere in there.  Yeah, I don't have any of those.  I have a couple people I could send to if things got really bad and I needed an ear, but those people are also really busy themselves, so they're for emergencies only.  Anyway, I'll talk more about that Friday, I think.  (If I remember.)

Any questions?  Thoughts?  What's your process like?


  1. When I saw that line of storms, I wondered if they'd go straight east and hit y'all or angle further north. Sorry they kept you up. Hope there was no damage!

    And process is so individual! I'm always fascinated to read about other authors' way of doing things. :)

    1. Nope, no damage here. A few little limbs in the yard, but nothing major.

      Me, too!