Writer’s Diary 7: The Process That I Know

 

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I’m starting another book, and this is what I now know about my writing process.

I now know that what other authors say about writing a book – that the writing of every book is no easier than the first – is a fact I have found to be true, but there are other things that I know, and the knowing makes it a calmer and enjoyable process, perhaps more enjoyable than those books that came after the first, and before the most recent.

I now know that it takes me at least a year to write a book, (others are faster and churn out a few per year, or are slower). I’ve learnt this about my style, and so I know not to expect myself to be quicker. I know that I need to make a plan for a book, and that the end result will only barely resemble that initial plan, but I need to make the plan, regardless. I know I will make many drafts, the first will be sketchy and shallow, the last will be a long and satisfying process of examining every word’s relevance in every sentence. I know that when I have finally completed that book, edited and laid out how a finished book should be, and told everyone that I have finished, the truth will be that I have, in fact, not finished. Three months later I will write one more of at least two more drafts, and I also know, that this process from start to finish is all part of what I find to be the most enjoyable part of writing a book.

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16 thoughts on “Writer’s Diary 7: The Process That I Know

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  1. I have just sent my first book to a publisher, and they want to see the rest (yay) and I agree with what you have said here about the multiple drafts. At last count, i have 37 drafts, segments, versions and others of my book, and that’s just on my memory stick itself. I’ve been editing and playing with if for nearly two years since I started it. And it kind of resembles the first draft (which I wrote in 5 weeks)
    When you say you plan your next novel, do you plan out the full story from start to finish?
    I am thinking about going back to the sequel that I started long ago, but I think my process is different from yours, I can’t plan my stories, I tried that before and failed misireably. I just sit down and write and see what comes out I have no clue where the story is going beyond the initial idea, I genuinely let it run and see what happens and if I write myself into a corner I have to figure out how to get out of it. I made myself one rule, I can’t go back and change things to make it easier on myself, if the characters are trapped in a situation I have to think how to get them out of it, I can’t just skip back a few paragraphs/chapters to change it, so it doesn’t happnen.
    ok so, I didn’t intend to write this much here but that’s what I’m saying I can’t stop at times it’s like my fingers bypass conscious thought and boom out come the words
    sorry if this is off topic and way to long for a comment

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha! Thanks Colin. Yes, that’s what I’m saying, I plan start to finish. I used to write the way you’re describing, but I found the story meandered too much and I wasted time having to go back and delete waffle that I’m able to avoid by planning, but we all have our own way that works. Many and varied!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Congratulations on starting another book. Writing that first sentence is pretty hard, but the hardest thing is recognizing that you have something to write about and the skills to put it on paper artfully.

    Everyone has a different style of writing. Do not worry about your style or technique or the time it takes to complete a book. It sounds like you have a sound head on your shoulders.

    Most important is that you recognize that the book will not pop off your computer with the first draft ready to publish. Though I generally like my first draft, I always find ways to improve that draft. The first book I published was the eighth major revision including many minor edits along the way. My current book is in the editorial stage of publishing. The editor suggest several significant improvements even though he was working on the third major revision of the manuscript.

    Keep on keeping on.

    Reynold Conger

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I hope to soon know my process as well as you know yours.
    This post is delightful and encouraging because it reminds me that writing – all writing – is a complex process and not and event.
    Thank you.
    John

    Liked by 1 person

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