“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
To recap, I shared in Part 1 the beginning of the writing process:
- Character Profiles
- Pre-Book Trial Run
The fifth and next step is very important.
First Draft! It’s with great excitement mixed with trepidation that I begin writing. WILL this story actually form? My heart fills with gratitude as the words come, and I quickly become engaged in the story. How can I ever doubt?
I use Pages for writing. I have a document with my complete outline (which I’ve saved multiple revisions of as I created it), and I begin a new document for my book. I copy a portion of the outline INTO my book document, so I don’t have to switch back and forth as I write. I can refer to it and then delete the outline portions as I write them. I love having a whole section done so I can copy in the next part! I save my work to iCloud, and I also save revisions by duplicating the document and changing the number.
The goal of the first draft is to get the story written. Period. The fine-tuning doesn’t happen right now! I become attached to my characters. I picture my scenes as if I was right there in them. I love seeing the story take shape, and I praise the Lord for His overwhelming grace!
I find a quiet environment to write in, preferably away from my normal desk. With Sunflower’s Christmas Miracle, I wrote a lot of it at Joseph’s house, when he was away on a trip. I’ve written Moody books on the bus (when it was stationary!), at Joseph’s house before he got married, etc. For my current book, I wrote most of it in our spare room, with a few days at my grandma’s house when we had roofers here.
I turn my phone on airplane mode and turn off WiFi. I can’t stress how important this is! My phone can be such a distraction. Going for several hours at a time without checking e-mail or texts gives undivided attention to writing. Even when I take a break, it’s better to chat with a family member then turn on my phone. If there’s something to research, I generally mark it in my document, because I KNOW if I turn my phone on, I’ll be distracted. I’m not perfect keeping it on airplane mode, but I am very happy when I do!
I make writing a huge priority. When God gives me a project and a vision, I work my hardest to get it done. This sometimes means turning down invitations to do something I enjoy. Also, I find if I go out in the morning, it’s much harder to concentrate the rest of the day. (Mom has encouraged moms for years on this—the encouragement to stay home! If you go out in the morning, you’ll find it’s hard to stay on track for the afternoon!)
If I hit a writer’s block or just a difficult section, it’s okay. Some writing days are slower, but my page count still increases. The goal is to keep writing, even when it’s hard.
Finishing the first draft is an exciting moment! I praise the Lord for His grace and mercy!
“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me…
But my God shall supply all your need according
to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:13&19).