Wondering what it takes to write a book? Here is Part Two in my three-part series. If you haven’t read Part One yet, you can find it here.
5. Ready to Write
Now that the plot is developed and your characters have histories, it’s time to write!
At this stage, referring to the plotting outline created in Step 3, you simply take the idea and let the words flow.
For the most part, the outline will guide you. But sometimes, the story will take a tangent you didn’t expect. Just go with it. You might be pleasantly surprised!
And remember this is just a first draft. Don’t worry about spelling, grammar, structure or even completing paragraphs. This stage is all about letting the words spill onto the page.
6. Rest and Read
Once your first draft is complete, always put it away for a few days, or a week, or two weeks. Then take it and reread everything you wrote.
Don’t edit, just read.
By the end, any main issues with the story should jump out at you.
I always then reread it another time (or four) and make notes about other structural issues. Does this chapter need to be here? Does this character need more depth? Does this part need more explanation?
Again, no picky editing or proofreading. Just analyze the overall story.
7. Replot and Rewrite
With the plot issues fresh in mind, it’s time to fix them and rewrite!
Sometimes authors completely trash the first draft and start over. I tend to keep large chunks of my first draft and just rewrite paragraphs, and add or delete other parts.
This is the stage where tightening paragraphs and rewriting sections occurs.
This is where it starts to take the shape of a real novel.
8. Reread, Replot and Rewrite (Again)
Yes, that’s right. Repeat steps 6 and 7 as many times as necessary.
After the second rewrite, other plot issues might jump out. After the third rewrite, sections of sloppy writing tend to become more obvious.
Think of it as fine-tuning.
The more revisions made, the easier it is to find issues you may not have noticed in the first couple of drafts.
Does it seem like the book should be done now? Not so fast! Watch for the next post in this series for the last four steps to writing a book.