Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Trip to EditLand, Anyone?

Hello, writer friends! As I mentioned last week, I am currently in the midst of a bunch of edits I had been procrastinating on. Further, I decided to give myself a deadline of this weekend to get it all done. I work better under pressure. So, I've been a busy little writer bee this week.

I got to thinking about how everyone's process is different for first drafts and editing. I love writing the first draft and mostly detest the many edit phases. I know it's a completely necessary process, and indeed there's that famous quote about real writing actually being rewriting. And sometimes I have an awesome breakthrough and it feels really great for a couple seconds. But mostly, it's fairly torturous for me.

Here's my process:

1) Idea (Aha! What if....)
2) Brainstorming (aka Lala Land)
3) First draft (This is awesome, I'm so inspired, I rock)
4) Six week cool off (This is actually something I got from Jennifer Hillier)
5) Print out book (I used last time and got it bound and everything like a real book)
6) First read-through and edit (Focus on major issues - plot, character development, flow, etc. Also where I think of how much I suck)
7) Finish/flesh out any research that needs to be done (I often skip this in the first draft)
8) Second read-through and edit (Focus on smaller issues - weak verbs, passive voice, word choice, awkward sentences, words I use too much, etc.)
9) Polish
10) Repeat as necessary

What's your process? Do share!


  1. This is totally how I do it! It's like we're twins!

    I'm glad the six-week cool off is working for you. That distance definitely helps me see all the things that are good and bad with the work.

    Have I said how much I love your hair? You look great!

  2. I love the suggestion #5, to print it out and have it bound. That would make hands-on editing much more pleasant.

  3. I have been perpetually stuck on number 3, but I am almost done with the first draft of my first book! Maybe I'll give this process a try (although I don't think I can wait a full six weeks!

  4. I'm so far out of my process I can't even really remember what it was. Write like hell until the first draft is finished, wait a suitable amount of time to forget how much I loved the first draft (length of time may vary), edit, rewrite where needed (sometimes the whole thing). Lather, rinse, repeat for a shiny, bouncy, full of life manuscript.

  5. Looks like a great list/method to revising or editing! Just keep hashing it over, looking for different things each time. :)

  6. I like the print out the book suggestion. You have a great method. Alexia..there is an award for you on my blog.

  7. I don't have a process so I'm taking a class to teach me one. At least I'll have somewhere to start. I imagine after that I'll tweak. Yours sounds good though. I love the idea of printing it and having it bound for review.

  8. Our processes are very similar -- except I don't print out the book until about the 2nd or 3rd draft, and then it's only a regular print-out that goes into a binder with scribbled comments in different colors of ink from my critique group readers.


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