Master Writing Process
Welcome to The Writerly Owl where I'll be dissecting my writing process, sharing tips and resources that have helped me become a better writer. As I learn more, I'll share my results here with you. Click the highlighted subheadings to read the corresponding blogs.
A huge part of learning how to write, I've discovered, is learning about you as a writer. We all write differently. We all have our quirks. What works for one might not work for another, so it's important you become aware of your process.
Having a process makes for a more productive writer. It limits the amount of time you spend spinning in circles trying to figure out what next, and it decreases the chances of you becoming overwhelmed.
I know for me, deciphering my creative process as a writer freed up more time for me to write. It gives me insights into how to jump-start my creativity whenever I'm in a slump. My process has helped in the development of new story ideas and fleshing out the necessary elements. It has also brought into focus my strengths and weaknesses.
At The Writerly Owl, I’ll be giving you a detailed rundown of my process and introduce you to the resources I’ve implemented.
Hopefully, my journey will inspire yours and assist you in developing your best writing life.
Author note: Been trying to find the direct link to the article that inspired my Master Writing Process but for the life of me I can't. Throughout my articles, I’ll provide links to my resources as my breakthroughs didn’t happen in a vacuum and these muses deserve recognition.
Breakdown of Stages
My overall process has seven stages. Under each of these stages are sub-sections, or tasks that I carry out while in that stage. I don't always do them in order because different elements fall into place based on the project I'm working on at the time.
Just like plot outlining, if you view your process outline as a fluid guide, it won’t bog down your creativity or feel restrictive in any way.
View your process as a map of different markers to hit and allow your creativity to decide the route to navigate between them.
Stage #2: Plotting Structure
A. Breakdown the characteristics of the format you decided on from Stage #1.B.
B. Research the type of plot arc you want to use and its characteristics
C. Research the type of character arc you want to use and its characteristics
D. Read up on story structures (3 Act, Hero’s Journey, etc.) Choose which one best suits your writing style and note the beats required
Stage #3: Pre-Outlining
A. Develop a premise for the story
Stage #4: Outlining the Story
A. Outline beats of the plot based on the story structure chosen from Stage #2.D. in Trello while brainstorming more plot ideas
B. Synopsis outline expanding on the premise from Stage #3.A including the beat scenes outlined in Stage #4.A.
C. Macro outline of the beats and connecting scenes between each
D. Micro outline to breakdown individual scenes
Stage #5: The Drafting Process
A. Fast draft using the outline created as guidance
Stage #6: Revision
A. Take a break after the first draft
B. Make notes and analyse the draft
C. Develop a phase-by-phase revision process [repeat each phase as necessary]
Phew, there you have it folks, an overview of my writing process.
As you grow as a writer your process will change, become more refined and efficient. Mine was a chaotic chase-my-tail-what-the-heck-do-I-do-now cycle of unproductiveness. Being disorganized in my approach to my projects led to crippling overwhelm. And overwhelm led to a pile-up of incomplete manuscripts.
Stay tuned as I post focused articles for the markers in each stage. I’ll include resources, tips and my own ‘ah hah’ moments and struggles.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts on having a mapped out writing process. Do you already have one? Chat with me in the comments below.
And as always, may the words forever be in your favor!