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Out Of The Loop/Writing Process

I know that I’ve been out of the loop here lately… I haven’t been posting as much as I should,and it’s taking me forever to get around to all the rest of the book reviews. In my own defense, I am writing the final 2-5,000 words in my new novella. As many of you are writers, I’m sure you’ll understand that once it gets down to the nitty gritty, you just can’t stop. I have been able to force myself to stop long enough to throw an update out there though.

I think I will be finished with the rough draft of ‘Personal Growth’ by the end of today, or possibly (at the latest) tomorrow. Then comes the editing process. I’m not sure how other authors do it, but my process is half complicated, half easy. Does that make any sense? Probably not, but does anything ever make sense when we are writing? We all have strange things we do in order to get our stories out there. That’s what makes us authors. Actually, we’re very strange people- all artistic people are. As an author, I know I’m an odd duck. I hang out with a lot of musicians (a LOT, and not on purpose either…haha) and they are incredibly strange. I also have two aunts, a niece, and a friend who I could certainly classify as bonafide artists (you know- painting, drawing, etc.), and they are also strange. I’m trailing off here though, aren’t I? Anyways, here is a glance at my own personal writing process, from the moment I get an idea all the way to when I publish.

  1. Come up with idea randomly, begin writing immediatly
  2. Somewhere between 1/2 to 3/4’s of the way through, I decide how the book is going to end. If it’s a series, I also make sure I have a rough idea of where the next book will start back up.
  3. When I have 5-10 scenes left and I am ready to wrap up the story, I make a bulleted list of scenes directly on the manuscript/document so I don’t get lost when wrapping things up.
  4. When the book is completely finished, I set it aside for 6 to 48 hours to give my mind a rest, and so I can have a fresh outlook on it when I go into editing. This is usually when I create the cover for the book as well, although sometimes (like with the ‘Growing Roots’ series) I actually make the cover halfway through writing the book.
  5. I pick the manuscript back up, and do the first edit. The first edit is where most major changes take place, and a lot of grammatical errors are found.
  6. I set the book aside again for 6 to 48 hours, and then I begin the second edit. This is when I format my manuscript into chapters, add the title page,etc.
  7. I send the formatted manuscript off to my professional editor (yes, I have finally hired one, and about time to!). It usually takes her 3 to 4 days to get back to me with a grammatically free manuscript. She also sends me a list of things I might want to consider changing, and I look that over, change what needs to be changed.
  8. I send the many times edited manuscript out to my beta readers (I have 2 full time, and usually end up with as many as 6 to 10 per book). I wait for my beta readers to get back to me, and take into consideration anything they say should be changed.
  9. I do one last final read through, and then I publish.

The whole process really doesn’t take that long. In fact, it only takes me 3-4 weeks to edit a book all the way through. Writing times varies though. I wrote ‘Less Than Humble Beginnings’ in about 3 weeks. I have, thus far, taken around 5 weeks in writing ‘Personal Growth.’ ‘A Severing of Ties’ took me almost two years (it was my very first novel), and ‘A Gathering of Sorrows’ took me between 3 and 4 months. It depends on the length I’m going for, how much time I have to write during that given time, and how easily the story is flowing for me.

I know this was a fairly random post, but remember- I’m still stuck in Oklahoma with Willie and we’ve been having a lot of revelations that are rather profound (yes, I’m talking about my Characters like people again, bear with me). Want to share your writing process with me? Feel free! I can’t wait to hear from you!

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