Posted by: Kathy Temean | June 7, 2012

First to Final Draft – Novel Developmental Process

Susan Kaye Quinn, Author of Open Minds (Book One of the Mindjack Trilogy) and Life, Liberty, and Pursuit, a teen love story has a good post on the process of developing and revising a novel. She is a former rocket scientist and engineer, but says, “I write middle grade and young adult novels because I love writing even more than shiny tech gadgets. Which is saying something.”  Here is part of Susan’s post:

You can’t skip ahead on this process, because the story is discovered as part of the process. Just as your character has to go through the full gamut of their trials and tribulations in order to force them through their character arc, your story has to go through every step of the process to reach its full potential.

My Process…
…looks something like this:

Pre-Draft: Outline. This can be anything from one opening paragraph and a concept (Open Minds) to 16,000 words of chapter-by-chapter outline (Free Souls).
1st Draft: Write like crazy until I reach THE END. Have really short descriptions, or possibly none. The emotions, the dialogue, the plot rule the day. Get it all down in a heady rush of storytelling.
2nd Draft: Look in despair upon the wreckage of the 1st Draft. Try to shape it into something coherent.
3rd Draft: Go deeper into scene setting, character development, themes and image systems. Add rich detail, backstory, and plants/payoffs.
4th Draft: Make it beautiful, in word craft and grammar. Make it fresh, in turns of phrase and more details. Fix everything that needs fixing. Publishing=DONE. Make sure the story is ready for that.

To read the whole post click:

Talk Tomorrow,



  1. thanks for another good post! (but they’re all good!)


  2. Thanks for sharing your creative process, Susan! I’m always interested to see how other people approach novel writing, from concept to completion.


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