Writing Process

Writing Process Generally

The key to writing is the willingness to grind, polish, and perfect your manuscript under lousy circumstances. Kawasaki, Guy. APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book (Kindle Locations 1035-1036). Nononina Press. Kindle Edition.

Writing is a process that involves at least four distinct steps: prewriting, drafting, revising, and editing. It is known as a recursive process. While you are revising, you might have to return to the prewriting step to develop and expand your ideas.

On Writing Process: It should be against the law for any teacher or expert to tell writers that in order to succeed they need to use any one process. It just doesn’t work that way. There is no one size fits all universally right way to create stories. The true path to success is found by trying different approaches to find the one that allows you to create your best work and please don’t let anyone or any book tell you different.


Pre-writing involves series development, world-building and story design.


First (Rough) Draft - Alpha

Tell yourself the story. Don’t worry about length, language or research. Get the story out as best as you can. Use Notes and Placeholders.

Second Draft - Alpha

The second draft is telling the reader your story. By this stage you should have something worth being read by other people. This draft is the one you send to your “beta readers” or pre-publication readers. If you are using a developmental editor, this is the draft you send that editor. Any research, placeholders or the like should be fixed by now.


The key to a great book is editing–grinding, buffing, and polishing–not writing. There are two types of editing that you should do: structural / developmental and line-edit / proofread (also called copyediting). A self-edited author is as foolish as the self-medicated patient.

  • Editing on Paper: Print it out in the same basic format as the final copy (i.e., on letter paper but with the print space for the 6”x9”). Use a red pen, go somewhere without the computer. Use a ruler to focus on line-by-line.
  • Editing on Tablet: Print it to PDF and use Adobe Reader, which will allow you to mark up your book.

Third Draft - Beta / Developmental

The third draft incorporates feedback from your beta readers and developmental editor. You should anticipate a complete rewrite. If you are using a professional line editor, send this draft to that editor.

Polishing - Gamma / Copyediting

Incorporate feedback from the line editor. Traditional publishers typically go through two rounds of copyediting

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