mandyhubbard (mandyhubbard) wrote,

Discussion Post: What's your process?

Now that I'm revising what will be my fifth published book (RIPPLE, coming in July 2011), I've sort of nailed down a process, to get from That Big Idea to That Finished Book. It's not the prettiest process, but it works for me.

It goes something like this:

Drafting: 6-12 ish weeks, depending on how long it will be and whether I'm writing it on deadline. Also, I may already have the first three to five chapters done if I sold it on proposal. This draft is a hot mess. 

Shaping: 2 weeks. I take That Crappy Thing I Wrote and solve the obvious problems. I keep working on it while I send it to....

Critique partners: 1-2 weeks. I usually send my project to Cyn and one other person. Cyn has no problem being blunt and adding comments like WTF??  all over my manuscript. This is why I trust her. She doesn't waste time actually complimenting my writing when she can tear it apart instead.

Pre-Revision revising: 1 week: I take the comments and revise accordingly, then I turn it in to my editor.

Revisions: My editor sends me a revision letter. They usually give me 1 month.

During this time, I:

Read through the draft and turn it into a big mess-- I cut the scenes that no longer belong, and then add asterisked remarks, like *New scene with Cole goes here* and *this is one of the "telling" type chapters she was talking about* 

Once it  has more holes than a colander, I go back and start at the beginning, and actually address the asterisked remarks and write the new scenes.

Then I read it again, and make sure everything works together and scenes transition properly. Lots of new paragraphs and sensory details get added at this stage. It's also when I start fleshing in the character's internal arc.

Then I send it to Kinkos, where it is printed and punched and put into a three ring binder. And I read it again. I do this because for whatever reason I read slower and pick up on details more so than on the computer.

Then I open the doc and incorporate all of the hard-copy changes.

Then I read it one last time and send it off. So yeah, I guess that's the six-pass revision method.

Depending on the book, my editor may then do a mini-revision letter along with line edits, and I'll be given 2-3 weeks this time.

Then it goes to copy edits and typsetting. Then I proof it another time or two.

By then I'm sick of looking at it. :-)

So, what's your process? Do you revise as you write your first draft, so that it's sparkly by the time you write THE END? Or do you write a word-vomit draft like me? When do you share it with critique partners?


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