We have talked about publishing and the publishing process but let’s go back to basics. What is writing?
Just like publishing, writing is also a process. The misconception out there is to think that one can simply take a computer and start punching keys. Writing means a lot more than that.
Writing is a process that needs thinking, planning, research, composing the first draft, revising, editing, proofreading. All these stages are solely done by the writer before a manuscript is deemed complete at the writing stage.
Writing is known as a recursive process. While you are revising, you might have to return to the research step to gather information, develop and expand your ideas.
This is the stage at which an author comes up with the idea. It can also be termed the idea stage. This can be for example; the writer comes up with an idea to write about writing as a business because the general misconception out there may be that one can’t actually make a living out of it.
The next step would be to plan. At this stage the writer will think about who the target audience is? The approach to take? Coming up with a specific topic for the subject matter. Think about the style. Is it going to be an article, an op-ed or a manual? All these things are determined at the planning stage, after coming up with the initial idea to write.
This process involves gathering and organizing the relevant information to go with the story to be written. It may mean reading other books that talk about the same matter, conducting interview, statistical research, visiting places or googling. The writer’s objective would be to come up with an informed piece of information as possible, hence this process is necessary and it does not exclude fiction writers. They too need to research on locations if they choose to set their book in a certain country, dates, traditions etc.
When satisfied with the gathered information, a writer can then sit down and draft. Because we said writing is a recursive process, at the drafting stage, the writer may go back to the gathering stage to find more information. Some writers may prefer to write different sections at a time and going back to the research process as they move with their plot.
At this stage the writer has to read what he/she would have written and revise their work. Just like in a high school where one was required to revise their work. This stage is equally important. Back in the day this is when a manuscript would be seen with crossed out paragraphs and words, thanks to technology this cannot be seen in a typed script. Again just like the drafting stage, while revising their content, writers may also go back to gathering more details.
A writer is essentially responsible for their work hence the need to hold oneself accountable and edit the work. This is the stage where writers do everything in their power to assess if they got everything right. They check their content according to their plan an outline, they check language and ask themselves if their work answers what they intended it to answer. Again chances of getting back to research are there.
This is the final stage of the writing stage where the writer final checks their copy to correct all the surface errors in the manuscript.
Just like publishing, writing is a process that needs careful planning and execution if one is to produce content that is readable, appealing to the readers, informative, entertaining or engaging.
In as much as writing is a process, it is doable. What’s stopping you from getting started on your manuscript? Let’s talk about it here.