One of my readers emailed me and asked me about my writing process and suggested I post a blog about it. And yes, I know, many of you can’t, for whatever reason, post a comment, and I promise I’m having my web chickie look at it. We’re in the process of redoing the website and blog so I’m hoping the problem is fixed when the new site goes live (fingers crossed)
So anyway, she asked about how my books comes together or if I have any special things I do as the story progresses. The short answer is uhm no. I am pretty regimented, which Amy would laugh at and say something snotty like that I sound ANAL, but I hate change. I get used to doing things a certain way and well, I just can’t deviate from it, especially if it works.
I write by chapter. For each book, I create a new folder in my books directory, and name it whatever the book title is. Then I create files in that particular book’s folder. I might have a synopsis file, a notes file, any research I do goes in its own file etc. Then I create a file called “working full” and then I start the story with chapter 1, and it’s its own file as well. So if I have 40 chapters in the book then I’ll have 40 individual files in that folder.
As I finish a chapter, when I reach the end, I highlight all and copy it into the working full so that I have the individual chapters but I also have one comprehensive file with the story in its entirety. It’s nice to see my page count and word count without having to go back and look at each individual chapter. I don’t do any editing whatsoever on the “working full.” It’s just for show and my own personal way of keeping track of my progress.
When I finish the story and it’s time for me to edit, I then start a new file with the actual name of the book. Then I go and open each individual chapter and I edit it chapter by chapter. As I complete each one, I then paste the edited, complete chapter into the file that has the book title. So when I get to the end, I have an edited, squeaky clean (ok somewhat clean) version of the book all in one file. This is the one that gets sent off to my editor.
That’s my process. Sounds convaluted, but lord help me if I ever changed it.