I thought you might be interested in the novel-writing process I go through from start to finish.
Here’s what I do:
- I go crazy writing the first draft in November (during NaNoWriMo).
- I let it sit a while and do the holiday stuff.
- I make up an outline and figure out what the heck I have here. And I figure out the cover.
- 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.
- 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!
- I send the book to my beta readers in July.
- 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.
- Then I do more revision using their critiques and a final edit or six, until I feel like it’s done.
- I send the book to my proofreader Erin in August.
- 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).
- I correct any typos or grammar mistakes Erin finds during September.
- 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.
- 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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