My Writing Process, Step-By-Step

If you have never seen Nathan Bradford’s explanation of the publishing process in GIF form, you should definitely check it out. Funny and accurate.  It sort of inspired today’s post, in part. Or at least in format.

A few days ago, somebody over in the Scribophile forums posed a question about what different members’ writing processes looked like. And there are a lot of ways you can approach writing. Some people are plotters, some are pantsers. I happen to be a combination of the two. But to make my process clear, let me go through it with you step by step, with handy images to illustrate each point.


Step 1 – Get struck by brilliant idea somewhere that is not conducive to writing, such as while driving the car or when taking a shower.

Writing While Driving?

Probably not the smartest way to multi-task.

Step 2 – Pants the pants off the first several scenes and/or chapters until hitting a point where I know where I want the story to end, but have no idea how to get there.

It's often 90% adrenaline, 7% caffeine, and 3% brilliant idea.

It’s often 90% adrenaline, 7% caffeine, and 3% brilliant idea.

Step 3 – Eat some chocolate, watch stupid YouTube videos, create character profiles, which includes scouring the web for photos of actors who could play the parts and/or create images on Morph Thing.

Eating chocolate

Is there something on my face?

Step 4 – Plot a general outline.


And you thought you were close to reducing your carbon footprint.

Step 5 – Work through the outline, adjusting and adding scenes as necessary.

Watson types slow, doesn't he?

It’s not a quick process.

Step 6 – Finish a draft, rejoice, eat more chocolate.

Chocolate Cake

If it’s celebratory, it has no fat or calories, right?

Step 7 – Let the draft sit for at least three weeks. Do lots of workouts to counteract the chocolate.

Chandler works out

Eh, that’s sufficient.

Step 8 – Read through from beginning to end, out loud and possibly using accents, marking places that need editing and revision.

Editing, track changes, etc.

Just make sure nobody’s home if you decide to use voices and accents.

Step 9 – Slog through edits and revisions

Writer's Block?

Trying to meld your mind with the computer’s hard drive is, unfortunately, very ineffective.

Step 10 – Post to online critique site(s) or otherwise present to critique groups/partners.

Don't criticize

Remember to be nice and accept all feedback with an open mind.

Step 11 – Revise and edit some more. Eat chocolate.

Never too much chocolate

Why are you looking at me funny?

Step 12 – Develop pitch and synopsis.

Writer Cat is frustrated

I hate writing queries and synopses.

Step 13 – Eat chocolate.

Chocolate lifeline

At this point, the chocolate is all about staying sane.

Step 14 – Repeat.


(Images found through Google Image Search.)

One thought on “My Writing Process, Step-By-Step

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