There are tools in each of our toolboxes to get the job done, and I believe we need to use them all in order to have the best outcome.
Some writers have told me to outline first, then research, then rough-draft, ect... But I have found quite a few writers will write a chapter, have it critiqued, re-work it, and then move to the next one. I don't know how they do it that way, but who am I to judge?
Yet, there are specific tools that are an absolute must, and it doesn't matter what order, as long as the outcome is a tight, action filled, rich in the characters and plots, book.
I believe you should have a basic outline of your book, an detailed outline of your characters, (I'm finding out that one the hard way) and a rough draft written first. Then, go back in and add your details, descriptions, and make sure everything is consistent. After that, I go back and do revisions, check, grammar, punctuation, and fix whatever else need to be fixed, and tighten. Then off to the editor for more fun revisions.
Maybe to some writers that's not their steps, but no matter what, you still have to do certain criteria in order to accomplish a nice, tight, well written book.
On top of all that, there is one more tool that should be utilized on a continuing bases, read other books! You will get wonderful ideas, find do's and don'ts, see and feel what was great about the book and what didn't work and why. It is homework for the writer.
I do find myself critiquing what I'm reading all the time, but if a book grabs me, I can't wait for the ride, it is literally my high! Nobody is perfect, but when you come across books that you want to tell the author to fix certain things, it makes me remember that and look at my own work. I have read quite a few self-published books lately, and to tell you the truth, it makes me rethink my strategy.
My plan has been to SP (self-publish) but I see what people mean when they say SP author's don't edit properly so they avoid buying them. I tend to cringe...a lot! I do believe financially SP is the way to go, but I have been trying to get the message out that writer's need to hire an editor, not your friends, not people you know that have edited before, but a pro.
I know that it can be expensive but it's worth the money if you want your book to be the best it can be and people tell other's about it. Also, there are editors out there, if you look, that won't charge you a small fortune. LinkedIn is a wonderful resource for prof. editors.
So, all you self-pub's out there, get an editor! Do it right the first time so you don't look back at your own work with embarrassment. You can proudly hold your head up and know that this tool is a priority, no matter what!
One more thing, don't forget your homework, read!
I do have an announcement for next blog on Thursday. I will have a guest author-new friend, and I hope that all of you come read her post and join in on the comment thread to make her feel welcome. Her name is Marilyn Rice and she lives in England. She is a fun lady and I have enjoyed getting to know her, so plan on next Thursday, and I will see all of you then!