I mentioned a while ago that planning was essential to effective writing. Not just planning the content, but planning the whole thing – from idea to finished written material – as a process.
Planning content and planning production go together, and today I thought I’d outline how that can break down – making it possible to plan things effectively – and efficiently.
This isn’t a non sequitur when it comes to writing. If you’re writing professionally, time is everything. A plan could look something like this:
1. Develop the content. This is what a lot of writers call ‘planning’, and it is, but it’s only the beginning. Whether fiction or non-fiction, there’s bound to be research associated with the project – and this is the point to define it.
2. Do the research (and yes, I know that this is HUGE. It’ll need planning of itself -this line is akin to writing ‘now build the Effel Tower’, but hey…)
3. Break down the writing process. Deconstruction. Different people will do this different ways, but one approach is to run through discrete drafts – (a) first draft, (b) put in a drawer for a week, (c) come back to it and make revisions, (d) get it read and commented on, (e) take comments on board, (f) repeat until satisfied – or deadline approaches.
4. There is a discrete process to prepare something for release to a publisher, or if you’re self-pubbing, for that publication. I’ve posted on it before.
Now, you might think a defined process like this stands against creativity – reduces writing to a mechanical exercise. Of course creativity has to be allowed to flourish; but the reality of professional writing is that it’s not a hobby. Things have to be done to cost and time. The trick is to train your creativity to fall into place. And to apply principles of time management. More on that soon.
Do you plan what you’re writing as a process? What experiences have you had along these lines? I’d love to hear from you.
Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014
And now, some shameless self promotion:
It’s also available on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/bateman-illustrated-history/id835233637?mt=11
Nook coming soon.
You can still buy the print edition here: http://www.batemanpublishing.co.nz/ProductDetail?CategoryId=96&ProductId=1410