Part 3: 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

(You can catch up on Part 1 and Part 2.)

To recap, we looked at the first steps to writing a book:

  1. Ideas
  2. Outline
  3. Character Profiles
  4. Pre-Book Trial Run
  5. First Draft

 

The sixth step I will refer to as Editing. That one simple word entails so much more. Depending on my time deadlines and family availability, the way I accomplish this varies a little. One thing I plan on: editing takes at least twice as long as writing the first draft.

I jump in at the very beginning and start re-writing. Word by word, sentence by sentence, paragraph by paragraph. Some of the things I work on are making the story come alive, pacing it well, and ensuring a smooth flow.

The first edit is a rough edit round. I’m not fine-tuning yet.

As I’m in the midst of the rough edit, we begin a family read-aloud in the evenings, reading what I just edited. In the fiction/non-fiction authors’ world, they have critique partners, because one can’t possibly brainstorm all the possibilities by one’s self. I’ve been blessed to have all that in house!

I track changes while the family gives feedback, and then I implement their suggestions. From there, I continue to edit, rewrite, polish, edit, dream, and edit some more.

When I am down to the finish line with the text, Anna does an edit. She makes notes and comments about things I can improve and helps me on specific areas. In my current book, she’s responsible for adding quite the sparkle to different sections.

Mom also edits. Her fresh ideas are amazing. In addition, I ask Dad to do a paper read-through. He’s the practical, analytical mind, so if something doesn’t make sense, he’ll catch it.

Beyond this, I do more editing, bringing in the fine-tuning part. These rounds are on paper.

It’s thrilling for me to see the story become what I’ve dreamed. I can’t wait to introduce you to my newest book next month!

But there’s more to this book journey, so stay tuned.

Love,
Sarah

My little nephew, Benji, and myself recently

“And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.”
1 John 1:4

18 thoughts on “Part 3: The Book Writing Process”

  1. Looking forward to to the new book and this look into the book writing aspect shows it’s a long hard but rewarding job.

  2. Dear Sarah,

    thank you so much for sharing this! I love the way you inserted the “dream” part in the midst of all the editing 🙂

    No doubt it will make us all appreciate your books even more, knowing the gargantuan amount of work behind it. One most definitely doesn’t simply wake up, write a few chapters and publish a book just like that!

    Many blessings,

    Alice

    1. I enjoy watching Sarah’s delight in her characters and their lives. Sometimes when she has written something very funny she reads it to us at lunchtime and often laughs out loud as she does, hardly able to make it through.

  3. Thank you for such a great insight into the process of writing.
    Will any more of the moody books be available on Amazon kindle, I really enjoyed “summer with the moodys”?

  4. Having in-house editors and advisers is a wonderful blessing. 🙂 It’s amazing to see what they can add to a story.

  5. Dear Sarah,
    Thank you for sharing your book writing process. I’ve dreamed of writing since I was a kid. I think its great all you’ve accomplished! We are the same age, so I am deeply encouraged by you.
    Sincerely,
    Wendy

    1. If you want to write, I encourage you to put 1/2 hour in your schedule for writing each day. Most people can squeeze that much time out of their day for something they are interested in doing. That’s how I wrote my first book, Managers of Their Homes. Mary had just weaned so I took 1/2 hour that had been nursing time and turned it into writing time – 1/2 hour a day!

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