The Real Writing Process

I ran across a great blog post by Jeff Gerke, author of multiple books on all things writing and the editor/publisher behind Marcher Lord Press (now Enclave Publishing after Jeff moved on to freelance editing). He has a fantastic website called Where the Map Ends, which can be found here. Back to the blog post I mentioned: he has boiled down the writing process from the writer’s perspective in such a humorous, yet uncomfortably insightful way, I couldn’t not share it.

On the surface, his six phase process is fairly straightforward: You have the Research phase, Writing the First Draft, Receiving the Reaction (from your test readers), Waiting for the Novel to be Released, After the Novel Releases and, finally, The Blessed Reward (?). The question mark is his inclusion. But it is the wit with which he explains each phase that is the real gem of this post. For example, Jeff writes:

The End of Phase II: So long as you haven’t written THE END you don’t have to show anyone anything. But at about the 80% mark you realize that that moment is fast approaching.
So what do you do? You bring out the Extend-O-Matic.
Suddenly there’s the need to go back and do spot research or to read a book you hadn’t thought to look at before. Suddenly you’ve thought of a new subplot. Suddenly you’ve realized you need to go back and add more description throughout. Suddenly you want to do a final polish on everything before you make the big push to the end.
You leave this phase only amidst wailing and gnashing of teeth. Your own.

To read the full post, and get a dose of humor that reassures you that you are not alone in whichever phase you are currently experiencing, click here.

I conclude today’s post by recommending Gerke’s site, which includes many useful tips for all writers, not just Christian Speculative Fiction writers. His writing style is very approachable and laid back, his tips are incredibly easy to integrate into your current project and he leaves you with the overall impression that you can do this thing called writing. But you’ll need help. His, or other professionals, if you like; but most importantly, God’s. His first and foremost tip is always, write for the glory of God and you will be writing right (my paraphrase of the quote below).

“For as long as you write for any other purpose than to glorify God, you will not be writing for the right reasons.” -Jeff Gerke

J.I. O’Neal


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