19 September, 2021

Charissa Weaks

Planning:

1) Overall Organization: I use a KanBan board and quarterly planning via the HB90 Method. This is how I balance editing, writing, marketing, and life tasks. It isn’t a flawless system because life happens, but it keeps me moving forward. Anything not completed in one quarter rolls to the next.
2) Book Planning: I use the Save the Cat beats. If I begin with a rough idea of my main story beats/plot points, then it’s easier to draft everything between those points.

Actual Writing Process:

1) Must have coffee. The first thing I do on any day is drink water, but then, coffee has to happen.
2) Though I love my desk, long writing sessions usually end up with me on my couch or sequestered in my bedroom.
3) I mostly write linearly, though I do write random snippets as the story unfolds. In all honesty, those snippets are the best moments in my stories, and they almost unfailingly come to me at night when I lie down or between 3 and 4 am. I grab my phone and type them in my Notes App.
4) Culling and Building: Once I have a rough draft, I get CP and/or editor notes. I then decide what I’m keeping and what’s leaving. What elements do I love? What elements are weak? What elements can be built better? This is just thinking time, brainstorming, and I do it everywhere and at any time. I’m the Notes App queen, so any ideas get typed there.
5) Threading and Layering: On the rewrite, I know more of the story’s potential, and I have more of a plan. At this stage, everything has a purpose. I make sure my plot threads are weaved like I want throughout the story, and I layer in details that matter to the overall plot and for reveals. Sometimes a CP will read behind me here to make sure everything makes sense. I address anything that doesn’t work or needs shoring up.
6) Polishing: While I content edit a lot along the way, most of my line editing happens here. I use Vellum, a formatting software. Instantly, my Word doc becomes an ebook. There’s something about seeing the story in that form that allows me to better notice unnecessary words, paragraphing issues, and clarity concerns.
7) Off to editor 💙
8) Make more adjustments per editor notes.
9) Off to beta readers and copy editor.
10) Final adjustments made per beta and CE notes.

2 thoughts on “Where Writers Work

  1. What a wonderful feature! I really enjoyed seeing all the different places where inspirations take place!

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