ABOUT MICHAEL’S writing process
I’ve put together this little page to give you a little insight into my writing process so you can easily follow my progress from the early stages of writing to the completion and publishing of my work.
PROGRESS BARS for current projects
Progress bars for projects I’m currently working on are located the bottom of this site in a section labeled “Current Projects.” This section contains details of how far along I am in the process of each project. Each progress bar is individually labeled with the series title, the book title, that project’s particular stage in my writing process and a progress bar displaying the percentage of the project that has been completed so far.
The percentages in the progress bars are automatically calculated within my writing software as I work. I try to update the progress bars on this site each time my writing software adjusts its internal percentage.
Further details about all series titles and book titles can be found in the main book section of this site. Beside each title of the project I’m working on, you’ll find terms like First Draft, Final Draft, etc. My interpretation of these terms are further explored in the next sections. My manuscripts go through four basic stages:
STAGE I outlining
This is the pre-writing stage. Here is where most of the researching, world-building, plotting, and planning is done. I feel my way into the story non-linearly, skipping around and writing bits and pieces of scenes, description and character with the intention of sewing it all up together neatly over the course of the stages that follow.
STAGE II first draft
Here is where I begin connecting the story’s dots and stringing a tale together. The story begins to take shape at this stage, but is still unreadable by anyone except me. The first draft stage actually consists of several different iterations of drafts as I add, rewrite, and delete stuff. But I count each iteration as one single stage.
STAGE III final draft
The final draft stage is where the story is technically complete but still not yet publishable. It can be read from beginning to end, although there will be bumps along the way with grammar, punctuation and the occasional plot hole. But here is where I begin to tighten up the story. Again, there are usually several different iterations of “final” drafts, but I count them as one stage.
STAGE IV editing
Editing is the last stage before publishing. At this stage, I pass the final draft off to my editor who marks any areas that need closer inspection. I make the necessary corrections, send it back, and my editor marks it up again. The manuscript can go through several passes of this back and forth between me and my editor until the story is ready to be published and then placed in your hands, dear reader.
HOW LONG does this process usually take?
Timetables are difficult to prescribe since each book is different, has it’s own needs and is devoted its own level of attention.
But you may sign up for my mailing list below to stay on top of my new releases. As a subscriber, you’ll be among the first to know about my newest books. Other benefits of being a subscriber might include: periodic messages from me, alerts when special material is made available–such as early excerpts that you can read online for free–and occasional giveaways.
Note: My mailing list is specifically designed for updates of new material only and is not to be considered a newsletter. You will not receive an email from me every week, or even once a month. Expect to hear from me a few times a year. I have zero interest in spamming you and I won’t share your email with a third party or do anything naughty with it.
Enter your email address in the box below and click subscribe.