I’ve been out of town recently and so I’m a little behind on my “to do” list, including this blog, so I thought today I’d write up a little bit about my writing process. I know some of you are aspiring authors or authors yourselves and this might interest you.
So I write “head down”, which is basically a way of saying I don’t edit during the first draft writing process. I’m also a plotter, although for MARRIED WITH ZOMBIES I did not plot at all. I just wrote, which was very interesting. But I was also originally just writing a story to please and entertain myself. The other two books in the “Living With the Dead” series, I have plotted out (the second one, FLIP THIS ZOMBIE, quite extensively).
But right at this moment I’m in the first revision stages of the final “Living With the Dead” book, EAT SLAY LOVE. I tend to go through several revision stages. The first is once the book is totally done. I go through chapter-by-chapter and I make changes. I have the book printed out, I take notes on the pages and I input my edits as I finish each chapter revision. That’s the place I’m at now. Once that’s done I’ll read through the entire book out loud (which is a great trick if you are an author, you will catch many things that your eye corrects when reading in your head) and make any other little changes I need to make.
After that the book goes to my editor at Orbit. If she has anything else she’d like to see strengthened or changed, she’ll send me her suggestions and I go through the book again with those in mind. And probably read it out loud again, especially if the changes are more extensive and require re-writing of scenes.
The biggest trick I can offer to you as a writer is to look at revision as a set of small steps. Thinking about revising an entire book is overwhelming. But revising once chapter isn’t. So take it in chunks, take your time and try to enjoy the story you’ve crafted!