Rambling Reads would like to welcome author Jacquie Johnson, as she gives us some insight to her writing process.
How I Write
Most of my ideas come from a news story, an article or an interesting anecdote that someone shares. I mull the idea over while playing “what-if” games. If the characters come to life in my mind, I know I have something. They start taking on a life of their own and I watch the story unfold.
While the story gels in my mind, I make notes and jot down scene ideas. Scratch pads, post-it notes, envelopes, and, yes, even napkins are used to capture these ideas. Once I know where I’m going and how I’m going to get there, I sit down and create a basic outline. After this is complete, I start chronologically with the beginning of the story but then jump to the ending. Once I have these bookends written, I work on the middle. This is where my imagination often adds the twists and turns which I didn’t visualize initially.
Once I have a completed draft, I put it away for a month or two. This allows me to be less attached to what I have just done and view what I have written with a critical eye. I print a hard copy and read the initial draft all the way through, making notes before I start the editing and rewriting process.
Then I sit down at the computer and make the appropriate changes. Entire chapters are sometimes discarded during this time. While there is nothing fun about deleting pages I have sweated over or to which I’m attached, it is a necessary part of the process.
Once I’ve completed the first round of revisions, I reread the story. If I’m happy with it, I send it off to a friend or two for their review and feedback. I read their comments and make any needed revisions before sending it off to an editor for final review. The editor catches those pesky errors I’ve missed. Finally, I make any final adjustments and read through the novel one last time before submitting it for publication.
Thank you so much for visiting with us, Jacquie.
To see Jacquie's writing in motion, check out her first book Angel on Fire, and comment for a chance to win a copy of the ebook!