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How Do You Write Your Books?

How do you write your books? I usually start by brainstorming ideas in a notebook. This is to give me an idea whether there’s enough material for a whole book. I can see how big the book might be. Those ideas then get turned into an outline in Scrivener. I love Scrivener because I can break a document down into chapters and sections, and rearrange them as I get a better handle on how the book should flow. Once I have the outline, I throw down what I call the puke draft. I just write the whole thing, from beginning to end, as quickly as possible. The concept is to get everything out of my system, even though I know it’s going to be a hot mess. I let that draft rest for a few days. Then I go back a re-read it and make notes on what needs to be rewritten, as opposed to just edited. I note

Puke Draft

Once I have the outline, I throw down what I call the puke draft. I just write the whole thing, from beginning to end, as quickly as possible. The concept is to get everything out of my system, even though I know it’s going to be a hot mess. I let that draft rest for a few days. Then I go back a re-read it and make notes on what needs to be rewritten, as opposed to just edited. I note where there need to be some segues or bridging text to help the manuscript flow, or where I need to expand on a thought or add a section for clarity.

Second Draft

Before I start the second draft, I dump the whole manuscript into MS Word to spell check it. It gets run through Hemingway and Grammarly for style editing and to help with clarity. Then I set it aside for a few days before re-reading it again. After that, I dive into the second draft. I may have some epiphany about how to better structure the book, warranting another rewrite. A major change or addition to the content may come to me. Otherwise, the second draft is usually the end before it goes off to proofreading and final editing.

How Do You Write Your Books?

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