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Writing a Novel: A Journey to Completion

Writing a book is more than just putting words on paper. Books have the power to evoke emotions, inspire action, and transport readers to different worlds. Great writers understand the impact of carefully chosen words and use them to create vivid imagery and convey complex ideas.


I'm often asked, "how did you write a book", or I'm approached with the statement, "I've always wanted to write a book." There is a lot that goes into writing a book, and the process is different for everyone, but here are some starting points to help you reach that goal of writing your book.


Find Your Voice


Every writer has a unique voice—a distinctive way of expressing thoughts and ideas. Finding your voice is an essential part of the writing journey. It's about embracing your individuality and using it to connect with your audience. Whether your voice is poetic, persuasive, informative, or humorous, honing it will make your writing more authentic and compelling.


The Writing Process


Writing isn't a linear process; it's a series of steps that often involve revising and rewriting. The typical writing process includes:


Pre-writing:

This is the brainstorming phase and can include some research into the overall idea, topic, or specific story points. Not every author outlines, but I've found that when I do it drastically reduces my revising time. At the very least understand your basic story arc, as well as the ending, trust me you don't want to have to go back and rewrite because you changed the ending (been there and will never do that again!)


Drafting:

Writing your story out without worrying too much about perfection. I often call this process word vomiting onto the page. It works best if you do it daily, even if you feel your writing is getting off track or you don't feel confident about it - keep going! You can delete it later, but as Stephen King said, "You can edit something you never wrote," so just get it down on paper, or rather your Google Docs.


Revising:

Refining and reorganizing your content for clarity and impact. This can take many rounds, and you can focus on a particular element each time if you are struggling to tackle them all in a singular edit. During this process, you are focusing on overall story development, character development, and ensuring your voice is consistent.


Editing:

Polishing your writing for grammar, style, and punctuation - oh, but it is so much more! You will go through numerous rounds of editing. But for this first personal edit, just read through the book in its entirety. This is the last stop before you pass your book off to the professionals, or at least a good friend who's an avid reader.


Beta Readers:

Feedback is invaluable for writers. Share your work with trusted peers, mentors, or writing groups to gain different perspectives. Constructive criticism can help you improve your writing and see blind spots you might have missed. Embrace feedback as a tool for growth rather than a critique of your abilities.

I highly recommend finding a friend who is an avid reader in your genre if you can. If your beta reader reads books in your genre they will know what is popular (i.e. selling) in that genre, which is very helpful!


More Editing:

More and more and more... take all the feedback from your beta readers and make those improvements to your story.


Proofreading: Carefully reviewing your work for any errors before going out on submission to literary agents and/or publishers.


Remember that each writer's process is unique. Experiment with different approaches to find what works best for you.


Writing is a timeless and versatile craft that allows us to express our thoughts, emotions, and ideas. It's a journey of self-discovery and connection with others. Whether you're an experienced writer or just starting, remember that writing is a skill that can be honed and refined with practice and dedication. Embrace the power of words, find your unique voice, and enjoy the journey as your thoughts and ideas come to life on the page. Happy writing!


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