So, what are the phases to writing a book? I love the planning phase in which I get to throw out ideas and brainstorm book covers. Here I outline the release process for my book. I usually don’t spend a lot of time on nonfiction research since I already know what I’m going to write before I write it. I spend some time researching fiction scene locations. Outlining is essential for me since I can’t write without an outline. Writing, of course, but this phase often melds with revision and copy editing.
In this post, I outline the phases of the book writing process and propose some tips and tricks along the way.
This is where the mechanics of your book get worked out. Are you going to write fiction or nonfiction? How long is your book going to be? You should write just long enough to justify charging $2.99 for your book. How long is it going to take to write your book? What’s the next book?
The planning phase if fun. Let your imagination run wild, then reel it back in as you attempt to define an achievable book release schedule.
Remember to always write as short as possible while maintaining genre expectations (mysteries are short while fantasies are long) and being able to charge $2.99 for your book.
Google. It’s all about Google. I do very little research for my nonfiction books and blog posts since I often already know what I’m going to write about. However, I do like to look up exciting locations for my fiction books to add interest to my scenes.
I need to add a blog post on how to use Google to do research. Tools such as Evernote are useful as well.
I love to outline. I’ve outlined far more books than I’ve written. I think it’s fun. I also find it difficult to write without an outline.
Even if you’re a pantster, consider constructing a bible of important people and places in your story. Keep your bible at the end of your book and copy it to the next before deleting it.
I’m a great believer in outlining. I think it leads to more complex and interesting plots.
Many pantsters suggest that outlining ruins the discovering of the plot for them. I simply counter that outlining move the discovery of the plot to the outlining phase.
So, what of the writing phase?
Writing, for me, is all about picking the best words possible to explain my outline. I love writing as much as outlining.
I learned this separation of phases in my software development days, during which I would produce detailed software designs before coding. I used to love designing as much as coding. I loved outlining the most efficient and effective software design. I loved writing the most elegant software implementation.
I feel the same way about outlining a book and writing it.
This is very informal for me and it’s difficult to define a clear delineation between writing, revision and copy editing. I do them all at once. However, I must admit that there is a period after I write I examine my writing looking for improvements. This happens again when I’m approaching finishing a book and considering the outline one last time.
It’s no fun, but you’ve got to do it. I’ve published without doing it and received poor reviews in response. Run Grammarly or ProWritingAid to correct your grammar, then read your work out loud and backward to catch any remaining errors. Finally, draft friends and family to review your work.
I’ll see you in the classroom,