When I first started writing I had no clue what the fuck I was doing. Sometimes I still don’t think I know what I’m doing, but hey, I do it. The first thing I always say when giving writing advice is that EVERY SINGLE PERSON WORKS DIFFERENTLY. I hate when writers or authors claim there is a certain way to do things because there isn’t and thinking so is ridiculous.
For my past three books I have done the same technique that works for me.
The very first take on the story. I almost NEVER share this draft with anyone because it’s just me getting my thoughts down on paper. There’s never really any emotion or sentence structure. I just write write write until the story is done. The one time I had someone read my first draft they hated it and wanted to tell me it was awful. Don’t worry, I know it’s awful. It’s the first draft.
This is where the story get’s backbone. The characters come to life and get their voice. I take my time and slow things down. This draft probably takes the most time in my opinion. Draft One shaped the story, but the second draft shapes the meaning, themes, and characters.
This is a weird draft because the story is almost complete, but not quiet finished. While I reread the work for myself, I have two people in my family look it over at the same time. They tell me if scenes are weird or confusing. I consider this my beta read. I don’t use actual beta readers though. I was on a panel once where four out of the five authors agreed they don’t believe in having someone change the story or scenes. It’s always good to have feedback, however I started writing to write what I wanted. I know when to take scenes out or not.
Quick draft. This is mostly reading for errors and sentence structure before it gets sent out to my editors.
Once I complete any corrections/suggestions my editors make, I flag anything I have to double back and go over. Any comment I second guess stays flagged until I weed through every last one of them. This is a pretty simple stage.
Now, someone asked me the other day why proofread for errors if that’s the editors job? I asked myself the same question the first time around. However, even with several pairs of eyes scanning for errors, there will be errors. Not many, but you will find some. This part is rereading your work and taking notes for spelling mistakes or any correction on story-line you want changed.
While I work on cover art or promoting I have other family members proof read the book one last time. The I look at their corrections and make nay needed changes.
I read the book one last time on my phone or computer before I’m done. This is just a double check before it gets printed.
All together I read the book about seven times which sometimes I hate. Once the book is finished I honestly never look at it again. I’m sure in time I’ll have them re-edited, but for now they are what they are. I will suggest to take time, whether it be a few days, weeks, or even months, in between each stage. That way you have a clear mind to read and focus. If you’re interesting in hearing more about editing or writing, leave a comment down below and let me know.
Until next time.