Tag Archives: writing process

Writing a Book: Overview

I’ve been a book coach for 19 years, working with people all over the world on memoir, novels, self-help books and even film scripts. I began my career as an international journalist (in newsrooms like London’s Financial Times).

People come to my company, Art of Storytelling, wanting to write and publish a book. Few understand the stages involved. I’m creating an outline of the stages here, and expounding upon them on my YouTube Art of Storytelling stream. Subscribe to both blog and stream to keep posted on more on the publication process. We assist people wherever they are at in the book writing process, from rough draft to publication.

Rough draft

Duration: On average, a rough draft takes a new writer one to two years to complete.

Skill sets: In this phase, you’ll be learning to develop characterization, setting, plot and theme.

Biggest Lesson: The greatest lesson you…

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Why You Should Write Your First Draft Before Outlining Your Novel

Writers After Dark

outline-after-first-draftI often say I suffer from CRD—Chronic Rewriting Disease, a term I made up because it seems at least 50% of my work needs to be rewritten. But that’s my writing process, and I accept it. Sure, I could be like many writers and outline my novel from the start . . . but my brain doesn’t function that way. I’m a pantser, and that’s the way (uh-huh, uh-huh) I like it (uh-huh, uh-huh).

My secret is in outlining AFTER completing my first draft.

At first, I had some stressful moments, questioning my writing process. We all have to choose our methods, but inevitably we all reach a point where we wonder if what we’re doing is effective. So if you’ve reached this point and are interested in trying something new—even if you’re a hardcore pantser—I’m going to ask that you give this a shot. Pants away, but then use…

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BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

xx bilyk Marcia Krause Bilyk

By Marcia Krause Bilyk

I was a bright, curious, talkative child raised by a mother who couldn’t tolerate the noise and disruption of four young children. Mother withdrew into herself and her housework, leaving us alone to resolve our issues in the backyard or basement playroom. My older sister Cynthia, who knew I was afraid of the dark, would race up the basement stairs, flick off the overhead light and yell, “The wolves are going to get you, the wolves are going to get you.” I’d pound on the locked door and beg to be let out. One fall afternoon as we sat on the curb in front of a pile of burning leaves, Cynthia heated her play golf club in the embers and placed it on my knee, saying, “Let’s play cowboys and Indians.” I still bear the scar.

Dad was a narcissist, prone to exuberant…

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The Lovely Bones: Structure In Memoir

BREVITY's Nonfiction Blog

A Halloween-themed blog post from Janice Gary:

GHOSTSYou could say I’m a ghostwriter. All memoirists are. We commune with the spirits of the past, inhabit old haunts, sift through the bones of the people we once were (and once knew) in an attempt to reanimate what was and illuminate what is.

Our ghosts are real. Or at least as real as we remember them. One thing we cannot do is make stuff up. And we don’t need to. We have more than enough material to conjure life on the page. But that’s part of the problem. What do you do with it all – all that experience, all that emotion?  What spooks those of us who write from life the most is this dilemma: how to wrangle this vast, unwieldy life of ours into a well-shaped story.

Fiction writers have the old tried and true (and yes, trite) basic plot triangle…

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Manuscript Revision – Advice From A Pro

Great advice!

A Writer of History

The First Five Pages by Noah LukemanNo, I’m not the pro, but Noah Lukeman is. Lukeman is the author of The First Five Pages: A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. As an experienced literary agent based in New York City whose clients include Pulitzer prize nominees and New York Times bestselling authors, Noah Lukeman knows a thing of two about finding top-notch manuscripts to represent. And he presents his advice simply and succinctly, using lots of examples to illustrate his points.

I’ve been revising Time & Regret so a book designed to help writers stay off the rejection pile seemed an excellent one to reread. I thought some of you might be interested in the notes I took as a result. Today’s post will be part one of two.

Overuse of adjectives and adverbsavoid the use of common adverbs or adjectives and the use of adjectives or adverbs when a stronger…

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