I finished the second draft of Rag Doll the day before yesterday and I'm almost finished with the third draft.
My Writing Process.
There are typically 5 steps involved in my writing process to get to the final draft of my book. Writing out my process, thinking about it methodically, helps me fine tune my process and craft.
This is my own person process:
The 1st draft is probably the hardest and longest to write. It involves many things and tricks I may explore later in a different blog post.
Briefly, this process involves the basics. Its about getting the story, in its entirety, completely written down. It's generally rough and has many errors; but the point of this phase is just to write. I focus on a beginning, middle, and end. (It also involves other things, but that's the short version on my completed 1st draft.)
A big error I used to make is focusing on the formatting, aesthetics, and illustrations in the book before I have even finished my first or second draft. BIG MISTAKE. Looks are extremely important but not in this phase.
The 2nd draft involves highlighting all of the mistakes and big problem areas. I'll go in and fix up all or most of these area to complete a comprehensive story. I check that the timeline is correct. There should be no loose ends; everything matches up. Basically, if I say the sky is green on page 4 it also should be green on page 42 (unless the sky is supposed to change colors in the story). Essentially, the story should make sense. Well I guess that's obvious. I also bring up constructive questions and criticisms and clear out the trash.
The 3rd draft fixes the left over mistakes and stubborn spots in the story. I examine the specific wording of my sentences, and Repair! where needed.
This is a relatively finished-ish product. It's readable at least.
The 4th draft focuses on the grammatical mistakes left behind, especially those tricky mistakes that sound the same like your you're thier there they're to too two here hear . It must read well and look good.
The 5th draft is the final draft. It involves a read through that makes sure that everything is correct. I put on the finishing touches and polish off the story. Also, I continue to look for the extra tricky slippery simple mistakes that are so obvious it makes you want to bite your own foot off!