Stages of Writing a Novel #writing #amwriting #writerslife

With my final read through of When the Black Roses Grow finally done, I’ve started, once again, on the first draft of As the Liquor Flows.

Ah, yes, the joys of that first draft. The highs, the lows, the excitement, the pain, the jumping for joy, and the banging my head into either my table or the wall, whichever is closer.

Yes, the range of emotions is vast.

Although, I suppose every draft can be just like this.

Unlike most of my writing friends, I actually prefer editing to writing from scratch. While I do like creating new scenes and chapters, I like the clean-up work of editing. The tightening, the detailing, and the making everything clean and shiny, like a brand new penny.

Call me crazy or think of me as batty, I don’t care. I’m sure I’m not the only writer out there who enjoys editing.

And, if I am. *sigh*

I guess I’m crazy and batty.

When I first start a new chapter, I sit down and write the bones of it. The crux, if you will, the a bare minimum I need in this chapter. Of course, over the last six years of writing (WOW! I’ve been writing for six years already?), I’ve learned how to flush out depth more and more when I first write the chapter which makes my next step a little easier, which is reading it.

Usually, the next day, after I’ve had some time away from it, I read it and add the depth it lacks. Details that I didn’t think of when describing the world around the characters, points of conversation I had forgotten that add a richness to the scene, and a characters expositional thoughts that draw the reader into their mind as though they are living in the moment with the character.

Now, at this point, I have to make a confession. Ever since I started this crazy career, I’ve always made each chapter it’s own separate document in a file. I don’t know why I do this, it’s just something I’ve always done for some reason. I like the simplicity of only looking at 12-13 pages and 3500-4000 words at a time. It’s a quirk, and I love it.

Did I mention I was crazy and batty?

Anyway, once each chapter is drafted, read, and edited, I combine all the documents into one, which then becomes the final draft.

Eeekkk!! The final draft!! That means I’m almost done….and I can start the drinking phase!!! *wink wink*

So darling followers, what is your process? I’d love to hear how you get from writing “Chapter One” to “The End”.

2 thoughts on “Stages of Writing a Novel #writing #amwriting #writerslife

  1. I don’t need to tell you my process, because it’s the same as yours! I totally agree about enjoying the editing process better. Except, the one thing I think that I do different is that I do it one chapter at a time (write & edit), not the whole novel. After being in the writer’s critique group for seven years, I’d have to have at least one chapter done per meeting. So, they’d critique and then I’d clean it up. If I had multiple chapters, I’d give each person a different one (no longer in a critique group since the move, btw). Also, my first edit is to add in all those things you mentioned for depth. My second edit is to clean up the crap, like the same word used too many times in a paragraph, any passives I find. You get the drift. I’m always amazed at how much you get done with such a busy household. Keep up the good work.

    1. All my writing friends think I’m crazy to like editing more. LOL. At least I know, now, that I’m not the only one! Sometimes, I think I could/should get more done in a day, but I’m starting to relax in a timeline of “I’ll get it done when I get it done.” It’s been a nice change.

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