Part 1: The Book Writing Process

“I think it would be very educational (not to mention fascinating) for you to guide us blog readers through the process of writing a book. From the initial idea to the finished product, step-by-step.” A blog reader

Book writing is a process, so I’m going to divide this into a series.

  1. Ideas! That’s where you start, and I’ll be the first to tell you I’m not overflowing with countless future book ideas. I have some, but not a crazy number, as some people do. The Lord is faithful to give me each story, and so I believe my lack of having a storehouse creates an even greater dependence on HIM! With my current book, my initial book idea completely changed about three months ago. I still may write that first book someday in the future but not now. As I work on ideas, I discuss it with my team. πŸ™‚ See my team below. They are amazing! The ideas they come up with?! Whew!

2.Β Outline!Β So once I get the story plot concept, I outline it to see if it works in an actual story. This for me is the hardest part of the journey. One can only sit and brainstorm for so long! But I take my brainstorming in manageable chunks. Then, I go to my team of helpers and run through my ideas. Several in my family should be fiction writers themselves (seriously!). We usually discuss my outline after dinner and Bible time. They’ll give me suggestions of things I ought to change or that don’t make sense or fresh ideas.

I love this verse on my wall!

3. Character Profiles! This is a new thing I’ve implemented in my current book. To keep my characters unique and to help me as I really learn them, I have profiles listing out what kind of person they really are: their likes, dislikes, personality, etc. I’ve studied a book on personalities (there are many books out there!) which has helped me to create real-life characters.

4. Pre-Book Trial Run! This is another new thing. Although my family has critiqued and gone through the book, I don’t normally have others read it until about the time it goes to a copyeditor. But, this time around, I selected a number of people to FaceTime/Skype with, and I told them my story. Their response?! They loved it! It was also great for me to be able to articulate my book in 30-45 minutes of time and also to see what my weak areas were.

We’ll stop with those and delve into the actual writing process next time I share.


Brainstorming with coffee and my favorite dog :: a perfect combo.

“Let not mercy and truth forsake thee:
bind them about thy neck;
write them upon the table of thine heart.”
(Proverbs 3:3)

20 thoughts on “Part 1: The Book Writing Process”

  1. This is great, Sarah!

    And have you ever done the MBTI test on your characters? It’s very helpful. 16 personalities is the test I use for mine. Just thought I’d mention it;)

    Looking forward to the rest of your series!

    1. Yes, that MBTI test is so neat! I did that for my main character and family. It was interesting to do for myself and then even try to figure out the rest of my family!

    1. My pleasure! It’s interesting for me to document the steps. I’m guessing we’ll have at least a 3 part series, but it might take 4! πŸ™‚

      1. I guess it will be nice for you as well, as when we are used to doing something, we often don’t realize the amount of time, effort and dedication we put into our projects.

        It will be a chance for you and your loved ones (not to mention for us blog/book readers!) to appreciate everything you create even more.


  2. This is fun, Sarah. I enjoy getting to see how other authors write their books. I’m looking forward to the rest of this series. πŸ™‚

  3. I’m excited that a new book is in process! Thank you for sharing the steps in the journey with us. Are the new elements things you’ve learned from writing conferences?

    1. I’m very excited about the new book too! πŸ™‚ The personality part yes, but the pre-book trial run was Dad’s idea. The conference last year was overall extremely helpful.

  4. Hi, Sarah.

    We appreciate you taking the time to put this together. Very timely and educational.


  5. When I took a writing class in college the professor taught us just about the same steps you are using. Outlining a plot was such an important step for me to learn and made a huge difference in writing. I would originally just sit down and start trying to write and hope the story would come together and it never did. Having an outline made a world of difference.

    When will your new book come out? Have you ever considered writing a series for teen girls? My girls are getting older and it is hard to find good books for teens.

    1. Yes, outlining is huge! I also tried plotting with index cards, but I went back to my outline method. Works much better! I’m aiming for October/November timeframe for the new book release! Hmmmm. I hadn’t really considered a series for teen girls. I’ll e-mail you and see what suggestions you might have! πŸ™‚

  6. Great post, Sarah! πŸ™‚
    I’m so glad you’re continuing to write – – I’m sure your books are blessing many.
    Love, Mrs. Patti

  7. This is a very interesting post Sarah. Storm has started writing and these are some great tips I could share to maybe help her. She is also illustrating some characters and the personality test would be helpful to pull these two elements together.

    I’m totally in agreement with Hope. We need some teen girl books. Modern day books of such would be great!!!

    Looking forward to your next release.


  8. Soooo super excited about this new series!!! I have a β€œprocess” too: brainstorm, outline, draft, revise, edit, evaluate, final copy. I’m writing a mystery for a contest this summer, and I’m drafting it right now. I’d love a series for teen girls too. Can’t wait for your new book this fall!

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