Five stages to follow when you start writing a book
- Plot Writing
- Rewriting & Revising
- Editing & Proofreading
- Finalizing & Formatting
- Specialist Review & Critique
It is never easy to muster up a catchy idea for a novel – or even an article. However, transforming that very idea into a tangible and refined story is tougher. There is no doubt that composing and forming a compelling story is an exhausting process, both mentally and physically. This process consists of many lengthy steps – from brainstorming a title or idea to finally publishing your book, every stage is practically back breaking. To not take more your time, here are the 5 stages of writing and revising your book.
- Stage 1: Writing
The first stage is - insert drumroll; writing! If you have carefully thought out about the topic, idea, characters, plot and theme; writing your first few sentences should be relatively easy. As you progress with your writing, your entire storyline will tie in together and make sense. This will further give you the motivation to keep penning down your ideas and will help you to achieve your target.
Keep in mind though – writing is about consistency. You cannot choose to write one day and then take a few days break. This will set you off your track and make it difficult for you to get into the groove again. Consistency is key and that cliché could not have come at a better time. Write little, but write. Force yourself to make writing a habit. Write when you are sad, write when you are happy – but write to better improve your style of expression. Also, having an unbiased book critique to review your draft is a great way for you to see your work through someone else’s eyes. Many times we think we have got it right – but in reality, we are in dire need of unbiased feedback. This feedback will also save you the hassle in the long run by having your book critique fetch the major errors out for you.
- Stage 2: Rewriting
A part of writing is to rewrite again – it’s just bound to happen. Rewriting is essential because it allows you to sit back and revise your work carefully. It allows you to switch your gears a bit and go in reverse to correct any mistakes. Rewriting also helps in rethinking how you can improve the message you want to send across by using better sentence structure and vocabulary. Rewriting is essentially airbrushing your content for improvement. Rewriting is a thousand fold more effective when it is implemented after valuable feedback. These feedbacks are constructive criticism which will enable you to enhance your writing skills. Don’t worry though – these constructive criticisms are there for your own good and at the end, you will be pleased you got them. These critiques will help you in fixing certain aspects of your novel and make it stronger than it ever was. These critiques will also help you in smoothing out the rough edges to your writing. This may include the structure of your sentences, the tone of your novel and style of writing.
- Stage 3: Revising
In this stage, your thorough revision will be the reason for your novel’s success. Revising your novel page by page, word by word, will set a praiseworthy impression to your publisher. It will illustrate you as someone who has exceptional writing skills and a plausible sense of creativity. Fishing out errors and inconsistencies in your writing is a sign of a responsible and an accomplished writer. It will make publishers trust your craft for writing and make them want to happily publish your work. Your revision could help you achieve much more than just improved content – It can also create a great start to a publisher-writer relationship.
Another addition to your now already revised edition is proofreading. Having a professional proofreader will eliminate silly errors such as typos and missed grammar – things that are overlooked by the writer himself. Proofreading is the final editing step before your book is truly ready for publication.
- Stage 4: Finalizing
After your book has been reviewed with all the necessary changes, you should have then implemented all the comments made by your proofreader. After this, you should have a neat and polished piece of art looking back at you. Congratulations on completing your masterpiece. However, you want to hold your horses. Your book may be complete, but there is one last thing pending; a query letter. This query letter will be sent to your publisher detailing a promotional letter, a summarized synopsis of the novel and an outlined description of each chapter.
- Stage 5: Publishing
Now that you have a query letter and a completed book, you may now submit your work. Putting forward your book to your publisher is the final step to writing – your celebratory festivities may begin because now your book is on its way for publishing. Make sure to carry out some research in finding a suitable publisher who will handle your work well. You want to look into your prospective publisher’s policies and terms of agreement. Get to know what his or her previous published projects consisted of, what is the schedule for submissions, etc. Once you have decided your choice of publisher, get started with completing submission guidelines. After that, send that book away for publishing and take a sigh of relief. You should get a response in a few days – till then, relax yourself and pat yourself on the back.
While you wait for a response from your publisher, you might want to write something else so you don’t become inactive and lose your tempo. Publishers can take time as they have an overload of published works to put out. In the meanwhile, get busy on another project and it doesn’t have to be a novel. It could be a column review, an article, an e-book. The point is; just write.
And, if you do face rejection by your publisher – don’t panic. There are several other publishers who would love to help you publish your work.