The Facts on the Writing Process

This is an interesting topic I’m going to delve into today, and one I’m driven to share, because the writing process is much the same for all of us, whether we’re on the road to publication or have already arrived there.

Let me give you some points to note, and I’ll do so in a bulleted running commentary for ease of reading. Because this is truly how the writing process works, and you’ll soon learn to trust in it.

  • The task isn’t in the writing, but in the editing.
  • Seriously, your first draft isn’t supposed to be that great. You’re supposed to just continue on right to the end without too much self-editing. (Now, isn’t that a relief.)
  • Because as you write this first draft, your story will build, and you will come to know your characters’ personalities.
  • The second draft will be better.
  • The third better still.
  • Now you see where I’m heading with this, because the more each chapter is rewritten, the better it’ll get.
  • Which means most authors won’t even be able to tell you how many rewrites they did on a manuscript.
  • Then you must learn how to self-edit your work, for this is a skill all writers need to master. Ensure you soak in all the advice that’s out there on the web, and there is a ton of it. There are great books, and writing forums, and of course other blog posts just like mine where editing tips are constantly shared. (Check out the other posts after this one, and you’ll see what I mean.)
  • Because writing is a passion, and your enthusiasm will show in your written work.
  • Happy rewriting everyone—and don’t forget to trust in the writing process.

As an aside—even now I am looking at the ten or so unpublished novels I’ve written over the last few years which are stacked on the shelves beside me. They are novels I wrote before I finally nailed by first publishing contract. Now all these earlier works are sitting there, waiting for me to begin the “writing process” on them all over again. Because I know I simply have to rewrite and rewrite and rewrite to get them to a publishable state. I’m sure all writers out there are the same, and let me know if you are for I enjoy reading your comments.

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10 thoughts on “The Facts on the Writing Process

  1. LOL! So very true! I go through 4-6 drafts per book depending on the length of the book. And just so you know, my very 1st published book was my 2nd full-length novel written about 12, 13 years ago. I knew it had great potential back then, but I also knew I wasn’t good enough yet. Last year I pulled it out from under my bed, blew off the dust & proceeded to rewrite it. I got a contract on it in December & it came out in March.

  2. Wow, thanks for sharing, Alexa. It seems those first few books we write touch us in a way, we can’t let rest. Congratulations on your contract and publication. I’m proceeding to blow that dust off mine too. Chat to you again. 🙂

  3. There are a few authors who perfect as they go, rather than drafting and revising. But very few. I suspect they either have very detailed outlines, or they have the whole novel written in their head before they sit down in front of the keyboard.

  4. It took me years to write Gunshot Glitter it was a real stop/start affair, but I desperately want book no 2 to be a smoother affair and am honestly going to try the thrashing out the first draft process. I kind of made a start last night, I drafted 2 pivotal scenes that had been swirling around in my head, I wanted to nail them while I had them. And I wrote a very synopsis for the rest, so for me, reading your post is so timely Joanne : )

    1. Hi Yasmin. Thanks for your lovely comment. I post each week and always to aid writers. I like the title of your first book–that sounds intriguing. And you go on that thrashing and nail that 2nd one. You obviously have a passion for writing–and that enthusiasm won’t halt no matter how many years pass. 🙂

  5. It’s so true… I have no idea how many drafts I go through on any given writing project. I have stacks of notebooks where, for multiple pages, I’ve written the exact same paragraph over and over again, changing it in little ways each time until I felt it was good enough.

  6. I have to admit that when I do take the time to rewrite some things that I have written the words penned read so much better. My mind moves on to other subject so fast sometimes it is difficult to want to go back. However I shall work on improving this process. Thank you for sharing. Peace and blessings.

    1. Thank you for leaving a comment. I know what you mean by your mind moving on to other subjects. I have the same issue. The actual first draft of my book is much more intriguing–all that plotting and dreaming. I love that stage–and it sounds like you do, too. Then comes the rewriting. It’s slower, but so rewarding once I see the results. You have a great writing day.

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