(If you missed Part 1, you can find it HERE.)
3. The Process
- Research--This could be as simple as sitting at the park listening to people talk, or as complex as taking a class on physics to make sure you "get it".
- Write the book (pantsing/plotting/mix)--We had a great discussion on these terms and the various levels a person can be of each. I, myself, started out straight pantser, but have now learned to plot to a certain level. Plotting makes my writing happen faster, pantsing keeps the mystery alive for me so that I want to continue.
- Let it sit--crucial step in the process, and perhaps a hard one to learn.
- The BIG Picture--Read through looking for flow and plot holes, character consistency and believability.
- Revise--Cut and add scenes as needed to make the story make sense and move smoothly from each plot point.
- Let it sit
- Zooming In--Look at each chapter and scene individually. Do they have a purpose? Do they move the story forward or increase the tension? (conflict vs. action)
- Revise Again--This is a good time to find critique partners and beta readers, see below.
- Let it sit, send to a reader for comments.
- Revise as needed for the following: passive voice, believable dialogue, excessive adj/adv usage, show vs tell. In the beginning I did each of these in a separate revising session, but now I'm automatically checking for these things from the beginning. Doesn't mean I catch all of them, but I'm more aware now that I have a few years under my belt.
- Write a Query and send it out, catch and agent/publisher and start selling books!
4. Critique Partners/Beta Readers (What are they and why do I need them?)
5. Platform (Putting on Your Social Face)
Blogs, twitter, facebook, google+, etc…
There wasn't a lot I needed to tell teenagers about this. :) My only suggestion to them was to remember that everything they put on the internet is there for the whole world to see. I also suggested that while they tried to think/act/speak more professionally, they needed to be themselves. You can only be something you're not for a short time. And no one likes a fake.
That's my Top 5 Things I wish I had known before becoming a writer.