Writing One Draft At A Time

Thought I’d share my process of writing.  I made a quick video and posted it.  I’ve also written out the steps I outlined in the video.  (In the video, I managed to reference two draft 3s but I mean drafts 3 and 4.)

 

Writing or editing a novel can be overwhelming. However, breaking down the process into steps or drafts not only cuts down on stress, but also produces a better product.

The First Draft/The Sloppy Copy:  Armed with a synopsis, set a daily page goal and start writing.  At this stage, no editing allowed.  If a scene comes to you out of order, write it.  The First Draft is all about getting the story down.

The Second Draft/A Sound Structure:  Start smoothing the story’s structure.  Make sure the scenes flow and are in order.  Don’t bother with real word crafting at this stage.  Start a running list of characters, time stamp each scene and record number of pages per chapter.

Third Draft/Fine-Tuning:  Focus not only what is said, but also how it is said.   Identify and clearly define story themes and character motivations.   Does each scene and chapter end with a page-turner? 

Fourth Draft/Polishing:  Really perfect sentences.  Weed out weak words, eliminate passive voice, use literary devices, and search for clichés.  See back for detailed tips.

Fifth Draft/THE BIG READ:  Print the book out, put it in a binder and read it.  You’ll be amazed what you notice on the printed page versus the computer scene.

Sixth Draft/Proof Read: Read the book out loud, have your computer read the book back to you, or reprint the book and give it to another reader.

 Perfecting Your Sentences Checklist

 1.  Weed out weak words such as:

That

Just

Very

Nearly/Almost

Seem/Appear

Begin

Felt

Few

Quite

Thing

Stuff

So

Then

Even

Only

Down

Got

‘ly’ words

2.  Rework passive verbs such as:

Is

Am

Are

Was/Were

Has/Had

Have

Been

To Be

3.  Dust off those literary devices and see if add a few alliterations or simile

4.  Search for clichés

5.  Make sure not only the first word of a sentence is strong but also the last word.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Response to Writing One Draft At A Time

  1. Alexandra Smith June 10, 2012 at 9:02 pm #

    Wonderful, for a new writer like myself I needed to know these things as I have a couple of stories that need a Draft doing. Thanks this will help a lot.