The importance of following a writing process
Narrowing down a broad topic can be challenging, especially if your goal with your writing is unclear. It is common for creative thinkers to become lost in their own narrative due to an abundance of ideas; nevertheless, following a writing process helps define your purpose and writing objectives.
Having an effective writing process provides you with a path to follow in order to achieve clarity and quality in your work.
Many writers and authors redefine the writing process according to what works for them, and the majority of them incorporate the following steps before finally releasing their works: pre-writing, drafting, rewriting, and editing.
Pre-writing includes writing down notes, researching about your topic, deciding on characters and roles, planning and plotting your story’s outline, and many things that involve brainstorming.
This could be as easy as going with the abundant flow of your thoughts, as complicated as narrowing down a big idea or as challenging as finding a new concept for your next story. With the latter, you might find yourself spending agonizing hours just staring at a blank document on your computer’s screen.
Remember Dr. Stephen R. Covey’s quote, “Begin with the end in mind.”
You must have a clear purpose. Identify your goals. For whom am I writing this? What am I trying to achieve with this writing? What do I want my readers to take from my story? What will be its genre? What details do I need to look for and learn in order to achieve its goals? Create a plan on how you wanted your story to flow. It will serve as your blueprint.
Let your imagination run free on paper. Following a process does not need you to be rigorous with rules and routines. Do not worry about being messy or imperfect.
The point of drafting, particularly a rough draft, is to write down all your ideas and thoughts so that you can review or revise it later. Jot down all the information and viewpoints that you have acquired, see if all the ideas seem reasonable or if they align with your goals, flesh them out and determine whether they require additional research or need to reconsider topics.
The first draft often contains bullets, phrases, unfinished paragraphs, a lot of erasures (if you’re writing with pen and paper), and grammatical errors. It’s okay; these can be corrected on the second draft and the next drafts, as many as you need to refine and polish your writing until you have a smooth final piece. The final draft should be as close as possible to your professional representation.
This is the most painful part because, if needed, you might cut out a big chunk of your writing. For some, it could feel like your baby has been taken away from you. I’ve heard many authors say that.
Rewriting goes with revision, more on the subjective part. Review your writing and see if the paragraphs show coherence, take out a sentence if it feels out of place, take or replace a part if it doesn’t sound right, and most importantly, check if it corresponds with the goals, you have set since you started.
Look at the blueprint you have designed at the beginning; does your writing answer them?
Editing also involves proofreading. You will go line by line and paragraph by paragraph, checking for grammatical errors, punctuation, indentions, spacing, spelling, and such. This is the final polishing stage, in which you ensure that everything is clear and free of errors.
Some authors or writers ask a beta reader or a professional editor during this process to make sure that their work is ready to be published.
Good writing can be extremely captivating and beneficial to its readers. The importance of following a writing process for the work you intend to publish—whether a book, a novel, or a story—is to assure its quality, clarity, and readability. It will also help you in mastering your craft.
Many of us might wonder if videos or books are better for exposing young readers and children to stories. Because both media have pros and cons, there hasn’t…