Writing Stages


Dr. Tanya continues her Blogging Insights series this week by asking us to share our experiences regarding the various stages of writing a novel or any kind of book. She includes this quote:

“There are three rules for writing a novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” ~ W. Somerset Maugham

My favorite stage of writing is the first one, where I dream up a clever title and some great names for the main characters. I may envision a setting and an offbeat way for the protags to meet. I’ll creat a conflict and plot twist; sometimes I’ll include cats but usually not dogs. Occasionally, I’ll begin what I call an outline, but it’s really just a mishmash of notes. That’s usually as far as I get with most ideas until I’m on to the next one.

Walking in moonlight with umbrella

Sometimes I’ll actually begin writing a story I’ve dreamt up. After a while, I probably will hate it and realize my idea doesn’t work. But sometimes it does, so I plod on. Soon, it’s just work, not fun, and I’m easily distracted by other things. This is stage two, a boring slog, and where I often stop due to inertia. Years later I may pick it back up.

Stage three happens when I can see a finish line and I get excited about my story again. The writing goes faster during this stage, and I try not to get too obsessed with going back and fixing everything. Yet I do go back, because reasons. Sometimes I quit here, if it looks like I’ve botched things up too badly to fix. Other times I go on… and eventually get to type THE END.

And that’s where the real work begins: stage four, editing. This is when I try to eliminate the typos, grammatical errors, and tedious blocks of jabber. I also try to plump up the story with vivid description and sparkling narrative because I’m often light on that the first time. Then I go back through and delete most of that because ick.

Many times during these stages I will spend a ridiculous amount of time designing a cover, and then starting it over. I also may spend loads of hours researching stuff that never ends up in the book but seems very important at the time. After all this, I’ll plop the book on KDP where it sits for eternity, lonelier than the Maytag repairman.

Lonely alone

©️2022 Paula Light and Light Motifs II. No unauthorized use permitted.

18 responses to “Writing Stages

  1. The editing stage is such a slog. I always seem to get to a point where I’m so sick of a book I just don’t even want to look at it anymore.

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  2. My favorite is stage is also the thinking, creating, strategizing. So fun!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I’ve a lot to learn if I want to publish a book.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. In my attempts I rarely make it past stage 1.

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  5. Call me strange but I love the editing. Its like dressing up the story in a suitable frock😊

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  6. I can’t even write a fictional short story 😲 I guess I’m at stage Zero… big ol’ Goose Egg! I admire anyone that can write an entire book!

    I used to devour books like cheese, but my ability to get lost in fiction seems to be blocked… still 😿 😭

    Does anyone even know about the Maytag Repairman anymore?
    I asked Daughter, she didn’t know☹️

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  7. Thank you for this realistic guideline on writing a book.
    Sadly, I am still stuck at stage two. I don’t know if I will ever make it to editing.

    Liked by 1 person