Hello, Reading Friends, this is David Telbat. A question has hit my desk that I’ll answer today: What is your writing process? I’ll tell you what steps a novel takes from beginning to end. This is a process that usually takes years to develop, but in a single post, I’ll just touch on the highlights as the steps flow for me.
My Writing Process
1. Idea Notebook
Currently, I have 330 writing ideas in my notebook, everything from novel outlines to main character names. When one of these ideas, or a combination of ideas, simply won’t let me rest, I know it’s a story I have to write!
I pray over my writing more than I used to in my early writing years. Now, I pray before I start a project, as well as each day before I begin writing or editing. Usually, it’s just a quick prayer of dedication and blessing. I don’t want the projects to be about me. I want people to be inspired for Christ from page to page. Only God can move hearts like that, so I rely on Him.
3. Writing and Typing
I hand-write the first draft of all my novels. I’ve done this for many years. Writing by hand allows me to think more carefully, because when I type, I don’t slow down enough to think. Then I set that manuscript (ms) aside for a period of time. I’ll type it up with revisions anywhere from a few weeks to a few years later. It’s important for writers to approach projects with a fresh eye for change, to retain an objective view, which is why I wait a while.
After it’s typed, I usually review grammar rules, then proofread right away. Last minute research topics are sorted out at this time, and a list of potential posts and marketing ideas are generated.
5. To Dee and Back
Once the ms is in Dee’s hands, the real work begins. After she finishes her careful edit—storyline and grammar—it goes to one or more other editors and/or field testers. We communicate much throughout this phase. On some manuscripts, we seem to be in this phase for a while. Then she sends the novel back to me with suggestions for my final revisions and proofread. Meanwhile, she’ll finalize the cover and generate some marketing for the book, which is really just scheduling our posts and announcements, and relying much on word-of-mouth to sell books.
This may surprise you, but I often lose track of when certain books finally go live. I’ll get a note from Dee about how it’s selling or what kind of responses we’re getting. That’s when I anticipate hearing from you, the reader. Will you like it? Will you see the deeper spiritual lessons? Will readers be driven to live for Christ? Will readers pray more and reach out more to the persecuted?
Every writer has a different process, but as an Independent Author who has a priority on ministry, this is how I develop my novels. Without Dee and others, I wouldn’t be able to do anything but write each manuscript. It’s a team effort.
See you on the next page!
You may be interested in these previous posts about D.I. Telbat’s writing: “My First Writing Projects” and “The Bible—My Plot Template for Writing.” Find other writing articles on our Writer’s Tablet page.
UPDATE from Dee on Called To Gobi: Whew, what an amazing story!! I’m finished with my in-depth edit and it’s now in the hands of another editor. She catches the things I miss. 😉 When she’s finished (don’t want to rush her!), it goes back to David for his final revisions and proofread. Then, I finalize the formatting and it becomes available to YOU as an eBook first! Watch our Novel News and Called To Gobi pages for when to expect this wonderful story full of missionary life, suspense, and End Times terror. (Personally, I think David’s outdone himself here. We look forward to hearing what YOU think!) We plan to put Called To Gobi into paperback format in 2016 as well.
*UPDATE #2: Called To Gobi is available now from your favorite e-tailers!
COMING UP: Join us next time for David’s short story titled “The Maintenance Man.” And for the following post, we have “The Christian’s Rope Course: A Challenge for Action.”