top of page

A Writing Journey


Part 9:
A Journey in Review

Over the past months, I've shared with you my process for writing a book. Given how many new subscribers we have and with the release of When Shadows Fall on the horizon, I thought now would be a great time to recap everything we've discussed!

My process begins where every author's must; with an idea. Ideas can come from practically anywhere. Often, my ideas come in the form of characters who pop into my head and demand to be written. Other times, it starts with a simple pondering of, 'I wonder what would happen if...' Over time, these vague inklings band together to form a workable concept, and from there, a book is born.

Once I have a solid idea, I start writing the first draft. As a discovery writer, (someone who discovers their story by writing it, rather than planning ahead), this can be a slow process. I often take breaks from my first drafts when I get stuck, and have a bad tendency of starting over multiple times in an attempt to muddle my way to the end. My first drafts are notoriously messy and poorly written, serving more as an extensive outline than a proper draft.

My second draft is a time to fill in the missing gaps and turn a story that resembles swiss cheese into something readable. When it's done, I usually do a quick edit of the draft to improve the reading experience before passing it off to my beta readers. Feedback is invaluable in shaping a book, so I count on my readers to help me discover what works, what doesn't, what changes are needed, and how best to implement those changes.

After the first round of beta readers finishes, it's back to drafting. From here, I go through a cycle of writing a new draft (or revising the current draft if the required changes aren't too extensive) and then finding new beta readers to test those changes.

During this long stage of rewriting and revising, I am often confronted with problems in my story that have not gone away during the natural drafting process. At this point, I sit down to brainstorm ideas and solutions. Sometimes, this process is relatively easy and rewarding. Other times, it feels like hitting my head against a brick wall.

Inevitably, there comes an issue in every story that makes me question my abilities as a writer and despair of ever completing the book. These low points are not eternal, but they do seem to be inevitable. Pressing through them is an important part of my process, knowing that eventually, the pieces will finally fall into place.

Because I usually don't know where my stories are going until I write them, I also take time throughout the process to work on the sequels. This improves my understanding of where the story is going, and allows me to incorporate better world-building and character development in the first book.

Eventually, I have a final draft of the story that I am reasonably satisfied with on a story, character, and plot level. At that point, it is time to turn my attention to the prose. Editing is a long process, and I go through my book many times trying to improve my writing. I'm quite picky, and tend to obsess over getting things perfect, so it can be difficult to force myself to move on from this stage!

At last, it's time for the final touches of proofreading and formatting. After I've fixed up whatever issues my proofreaders find and once I've completed the formatting, the book is, at last, finished.

Of course, the story doesn't end there; writing a book is just one half of the process of getting a book out into the world. Once the book is written, there is a whole process to getting it published, regardless of if you publish traditionally, or if, like me, you choose to self-publish.

Perhaps one day I will take you on a journey of self-publishing, much as I've walked you through my writing process. But for now, it is sufficient to say that our current journey is complete!

I hope you have enjoyed "A Writing Journey: When Shadows Fall" as much as I have enjoyed writing it. Putting my process into words has been challenging at times, but I've found the endeavor rewarding all the same!

bottom of page