I’m a ‘dirty’ writer with very (very) little ‘official’ training in writing. I started writing for fun and while I’ve read occasional posts about how to write, I’ve never really taken a class or studied writing.
When I write, I mostly have a rough idea of where the plot is going. It generally is written in a list format, with a rough guide of plot points that need to be covered before the ‘book’ is finished. I might (or might not!) have a theme when I start writing, often if I don’t, I figure it out as I write.
Most of my writing happens in stages.
Stage 1 – the rought draft. This is often VERY rough. I don’t proof-read, I don’t edit, I just write and (often) post on Royal Road.
Stage 2 – I go back, reviewing what I’ve written and looking at comments, thinking about what I want to do. At this point, I think from now on I’ll take a short break between Stage 1 and Stage 2 to basically clear my mind so that I can look at the information again.
Stage 3 – beta readers. When I can find good beta readers, I throw the book at them to get feedback. Around thisttime, if I haven’t done it, I start getting a cover done.
Stage 4 – I fix whatever the beta readers have come back on and then publish.
Realistically, I probably should be doing stage 2 and stage 3 multiple times. Thus far, i haven’t done that but later on I think I should…
Anyway, for those curious, Stage 1 is often the roughest stage by far. Like Life in the North, the book can change SIGNIFICANTLY between each stage because, well, better things happen.
One interestingthing is that between plotting and stage 1, what comes out can be quite different. So I guess plotting is stage 0? Heee