Thursday, October 25, 2012

It's a Process

Writing is a process. Depending on what you're writing, the process can be long or short. A process requires patience, endurance, focus, determination and fortitude. Once you have your book idea, whether you're writing a novel or your own personal memoir, the actual writing is a process. Preparing for the process is key to having the patience and endurance to see it through to the end. In order to prepare for the process, it helps to know and understand the process. 

The process has specific steps which include:

Prewriting

Drafting

Revising 

Editing

Prewriting = Anything you do before you actually write a draft of your project. This includes, but is not limited to:

Thinking
Getting the idea
Talking to others
Brainstorming
Taking notes
Outlining
Gathering information

All these things count toward the writing process. If you're thinking about writing a novel, you have already started the process! It starts with a thought. This part of the process is recursive. You will return to it again and again.

Drafting = Putting your ideas into sentences and paragraphs. Drafting involves three separate steps, listed below with their simple definitions:

Explaining - Getting your idea across by the use of clear, concise words.
Supporting - Giving your ideas merit.
Connecting - Connecting your ideas to get your point across.

Revising = Rewriting and updating your draft, to its completion. Revision is key to effective writing. During revision, keep these steps in mind:

Refine - often eliminating sentences, paragraphs or entire sections.
Clarify - Clarify each sentence so they flow together, giving the reader momentum.
Make concise - Concise thoughts get a point across more effectively than drawn-out thoughts.
Accuracy - Even if you're writing fiction, accuracy is important to making your story plausible. This applies to fantasy, as well.  Fantasy writers define their own facts, but they remain accurate to those definitions throughout their writings, making them plausible.

Editing = The process of preparing your work to properly convey the intended information. This involves:

Grammar
Spelling
Mechanics of how the work flows
More revision
The last thing you do

This is a very brief overview of the writing process. I hope it helps you focus in some way as you either work on or prepare to start your next writing project!

~Tricia

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