The 6-Step Writing Process: From Brainstorming to Publishing

Every writer follows his or her own writing process. Often the process is a routine that comes naturally and is not a step-by-step guide writers constantly refer to. Being conscious of your own writing process is especially helpful when you find yourself struggling with a particularly tricky piece. Here are 6 steps towards creating or identifying your personal writing process.

  1. Prewriting

    You're ready to start writing. So why has that blank page been staring back at you for the past hour? Prewriting identifies everything you need to do before you sit down to start your rough draft.

    Find Your Idea

    Ideas are all around you. You might draw inspiration from a routine, everyday situation or a particular incident you remember from your childhood. Alternatively keep a notebook specifically devoted to catching your ideas as they come to you whether it's during the day or in your dreams at night. Your own imagination is the only limit to finding your source of inspiration.

    Build On Your Idea

    Two of the most popular methods of fleshing out your idea are Free Writing and Brainstorming.

    Free Writing means putting every idea that comes into your head down on paper. Do not stop to edit your mistakes, just let the ideas flow as they come to you.

    Brainstorming is a great starting point for any new idea, whether it be a new book or a new business. Write your idea in the center of the page and work outwards in all of the different directions you can take your story.

    Plan and Structure

    Piecing the puzzle together comes next. It's time to sort through the jumble of ideas you have created and choose which ones you will use to form a coherent story your readers can follow. Make sure you keep your notes though, there may be the seeds of another story in there are well.

  2. Writing

    OK, so now you have your plan, start writing. Remember, this is your first "rough" draft. Forget about word-count and grammar and don't worry if you stray off topic in places. Even the greatest writers produce multiple drafts before they produce their finished manuscript. Think of this stage as a free writing exercise, just with more direction. Identify the best time, location and eliminate potential distractions for an environment conducive to your writing groove.

  3. Revision

    Your story can change a great deal during this stage. Many writers adopt the A.R.R.R. approach:

    Add: Have you achieved the 50,000 words you need for your book to officially be called a novel? Have you given your readers all the information they need to make sense of your story? Now go back to those notes you made for additional scenes and any additional details.

    Rearrange: Consider the flow and sequencing of your story. Would the plot be better served if some of the events occur in a different order? Consider the pacing of your story.

    Remove: How is your word count looking now? Are your readers experiencing information overload? Sometimes you will need to eliminate passages that don't quite fit.

    Replace: The most effective way to measure your descriptions and imagery is to ask for a second opinion. Ask friends or fellow writers to take a look and give you feedback.

  4. Editing

    You have overhauled your story. It's time to fine tune your manuscript line by line. Check for repetition, clarity, grammar, spelling and punctuation. Editing is an extremely detailed process and is really best done by a professional. AuthorHouse offers editorial services to increase the selling power of your book. Nobody wants to read a book that is full of mistakes and they certainly won't buy a book that is riddled with them.

  5. Publishing

    You now have a completed manuscript ready to publish. Today's authors are fortunate with the range of available options to get their story published. AuthorHouse's extensive portfolio of publishing services has helped thousands of writers become published authors. Self publishing empowers you with the choice of how to publish a book. Self Publishing with AuthorHouse means you retain control of your work throughout the publishing process.

  6. Marketing

    Read more about the best ways to find your book's audience in our marketing tips.