My Novel-Writing Process

I thought you might be interested in the novel-writing process I go through from start to finish.

Here’s what I do:

  1. I go crazy writing the first draft in November (during NaNoWriMo).
  2. I let it sit a while and do the holiday stuff.
  3. I make up an outline and figure out what the heck I have here. And I figure out the cover.
  4. I move scenes around, cut stuff out, put stuff in, and get the book into a nice story-like shape. This tends to take the most time of the whole process (as in six months or more). A lot of the stuff I cut out ends up in future novels – often I have a good thing going but it’s too soon to share it.
  5. Then I make sure I haven’t missed anything: Am I closing open threads? Am I hitting all the plot points I wanted to in this book? Do I have the right amount of description? Since this is a multi-genre book series, I have to make sure I have enough of each genre to make everyone happy!
  6. I send the book to my beta readers in July.
  7. I do the print formatting at the same time – I work on this while the beta readers have the book, so I can be ready when they return with their critiques.
  8. Then I do more revision using their critiques and a final edit or six, until I feel like it’s done.
  9. I send the book to my proofreader Erin in August.
  10. It goes to reviewers at the same time, with the understanding that it’s not been proofread yet (this is called an advance reader copy).
  11. I correct any typos or grammar mistakes Erin finds during September.
  12. I buy the paperback proof and review it, then make any final corrections. Then I format the ebook copies and upload the final files to the retailers.
  13. On October 1st, it goes on sale!

During parts 3 through 8, I work with my developmental editor to make sure any gaping plot holes are found and nailed shut. My beta readers help with that as well.

So that's my novel-writing process! Each book seems to go more smoothly and have less trouble, so I think I'm learning here. :)

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