Editing. The annoying situation I am in right now…
Step one: write your first draft.
Step two: After waiting a while, read through it making minor proofing corrections. The goal of this first run through is to be certain the entire story is there. If the story is there, go to step three. If you still have writing to do head back to one.
Step three: Rewrite the entire story. This will help in all facets of the story.
Step four: Proofread again. This is meant to show you the real story is flowing correctly. No major changes should be needed. If major changes are needed head back to step three. If you managed to get it decently set up continue to step five.
Step five: This is fixing lines as they are. A lot will be rewritten. Trust me, this will take at least four times the length of reading through it at your normal pace should. Each word, sentence, paragraph needs proofing.
Step six: Feeling good, right? Guess what? proof again. This proof will show how close you are the the final product. If you manage to get something to really show off, then head on to step seven. Second thoughts, return to five (or three, or even one).
Step seven: Beta readers. By now you should have a well worked story. Now is the time to really show it off to the pre-publish group. They will point out issues you missed. This will lead you back to three or five. If the notes are all ignorable or lacking, move on to your final proofread.
Step eight: Final proofread. Now it’s down to those final things you somehow missed in the last (what feels like six thousand) read throughs.
Step nine: If everything is good and you are proud of it, time to throw it to the real wolves: readers. Publishing is fun. Just follow all the steps or ask someone who knows what they’re doing to help you. Formatting can be a pain, so be very careful and proof it beforehand. Trust me it’ll be worth it.
Step ten: The final step: Market. It’s done being made. It’s been a long hard journey, but you made it. It’s fabulous. So show it off. Give it away. Sign copies. And gets reviews. I think this step is the hardest, but hey marketing’s not my thing.
And this is why I haven’t published much even though I have tons of stories finished. These steps take forever and a day.