FROM CONCEPTION TO THE FINAL DRAFT
Are we crazy? Writers, that is. When writing a novel, novella, or short story, the process from conception to the end is a hair pulling, heart rending, and skin crawling undertaking.
First comes the idea, or the thought process. Then, the ideas are randomly written down, the characters are formed, lots of research, and with some a formal outline. Other writers write by the seat of their pants. They just sit down and begin their first draft and allow their characters to dictate where the story is headed.
After several months, the first draft is finished. But, it doesn’t end there.
That is only the beginning of a much more arduous journey of rewrites, building stronger backstory, cutting unnecessary characters, and scenes that do not move the story forward. Once a writer is willing to cut their words, even chapters, you can honestly say you are a true writer.
Once you have edited and polished, you then hand it over to be critiqued by several partners who have agreed to work with you on this massive undertaking. When the critiquing is finished, it is time to move on to have it professionally edited.
When the process is complete, then comes the synopsis, one-liner (elevator pitch), and a masterful query after you’ve researched which agent would best suit your novel. Oh, I forgot the two-paragraph description that would grace the back cover.
Then you wait months for a response. Plan for several rejections if you are a first timer, or unknown. Some authors are lucky and hit the jackpot right out of the gate, but most of the time, the process I’ve just described above tends to be the “norm”.
I would love to hear your story. Which one are you, the “hit the jackpot” author, or the “several rejections” author?
Whatever the case, once accepted by a publisher, and the process begins, the manuscript may take months to perfect even more before it goes to print. After about a year, sometimes more, you should see your novel hit the shelves.
In the meantime, while all of this is happening, you must have already started a platform-building process for yourself; blogging, twittering, facebooking, etc. The list continues, setting up blog tours, setting up book signings, newspaper articles and more. Even though you have a publisher, you still need to market yourself.
I’m sure I left things out, but writing is an art, a job, and I love every minute of it. Whether published traditionally, or if you are an Indie Author, it does not matter; the work from conception to the finished project is a major undertaking. Make sure you know the process before you begin, because writing is not for the weak or the weary. Happy Writing. Enjoy the Journey.