Wednesday, March 1, 2017

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. I don't send work out to beta readers until the book is as polished as I can get it. One, I don't want to second guess myself. I trust my voice. And two, (and the reason I won't beta read for someone else twice on the same book) is because I don't want impressions to become polluted by what they read earlier.

    I don't use more than two beta readers either. Both have excellent observational skills, but each bring something different to the table.

  2. My beta reader(s) get my final draft. Then I take into account their suggestions/problems, edit one more time, then if I have time before deadline, let it sit at least a day or two. Then I read it outloud. I always pick up a few typos and odd phrasing that way. THEN it goes to my editor. I've gotten pretty good at writing a mostly clean first draft, but with 30 books under my belt, I should! Lots of practice. LOL