The Writing Process- step by step

1267196424901215The writing process varies from writer to write, but you can find suggested processes you should follow.

I covered this topic with my son today. He hates writing. He hates the entire process of writing. I’m not sure why, other than he prefers playing video games, or he’s a kinesthetic learner, but I felt the topic important enough to share with would-be authors who might need some help with getting a novel completed;

Pre-writing. This stage of writing includes research, brainstorming ideas, character creation, and everything else to fix together a plot to write. This would also include non-fiction writers, to gather your ideas, figure out your audience, and organize an outline. Plotting an outline can also be part of this process.

Links for prompts, ideas, and research

Chapter-by-chapter– a handy free program that works with MS Word and Openoffice to help organize writing into chapter documents.

Writing a theme for your novel.


Organize your plot structure 

Writing- This is by far my favorite stage of writing; to simply write out the story as it works through my mind. Most scenes work like a movie, so all I need to do is write what I see/feel, and add description and dialog. This stage should be free-flowing, and without the inner editor nagging about spelling, and details. Just write; edit later.


MS Office (Word)

Google Drive– free online word processer compatible with MS Word and more.

Scrivener ($40) novel writing software

Writer programs and tools- Spacejock offers many free and useful writer related programs.

Revise. The revision part includes making changes to characters, labels and names, shifting scenes to better work with the plot, adding description and foreshadowing, and reworking sections that were formally unclear. Revision also includes getting critiques and feedback. This is NOT about correcting grammar- not yet. That is tackled at the last part of the writing process.

A Writer’s Guide to feedback and groups

Creative Writing and Revising: Rewriting, Editing, and Proofreading

Critique Circle

Critique Guidelines

Rewrite. This stage includes rewriting those changes you did in revisions. This can often be tricky because you must weigh what stays and what goes, what advice from your critiques will you keep, and what will you ignore?

Proofread. This stage can be done by a formal editor or someone with experience with the English language. This is the part where you fix grammar, punctuation, dialog formatting, and polishing your manuscript up to its full potential.

Grammarly– an online free grammar checker

Guide to grammar and writing

Elements of Style



Publish. This includes publishing to print or ebook, or even posting your writing to the public eye.

50 Online Writing Web Sites for Writers

Pen and Ink Submissions

Writer’s Market

Fiction Writing Markets

You can go back and forth between these stages until you feel the manuscript is finished.  Some drafts get rewritten many times over.

Do you have more steps or like/dislike any of these stages? I find the editing part the ‘unfun’ part of writing because that’s when I second guess myself. Post in comments


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