Jul 9, 2010

Writing is Like Building a House By Jackie M. Johnson

Writing, like building a new house, takes time and hard work. If you’ve ever had a house built, you know that there are several steps to the process: site selection, building the foundation, framing, finishing the interior and exterior, landscaping, and doing a final walk-through.

In the same way, when you follow the stages of creating a written piece, it will be solid and lasting. Here are some ideas to build your project from rough draft to finished piece:

1) Site selection. It’s important to begin with the basics. What do you want to write? Who is your audience? Ask yourself the essentials: who, what, when, where, why and how. Next, what kind of project will you create? Once you figure out the big idea, you’ll have a better idea of knowing if you have enough material for an entire book—or just enough for an article or blog post.

2) Building your foundation. Your outline—no matter how brief—will be your blueprint. Even if you’re an anti-outline person, at least put a few main points on paper and add to it as your idea develops. Like the gray cement blocks that form the foundation of a house, the structure of your writing will support the rest of the piece. Make sure it’s strong.

3) Framing is about creating your rough draft. Get your ideas on paper, one word at a time. Words turn into paragraphs, paragraphs turn into chapters, until you’ve got an entire book.

4) Finishing. Don’t forget the importance of rewriting and editing to make your piece both correct and content-rich.

5) Landscaping. When a house has been constructed, you stand back and look at the whole picture to see where you can put the final touches. The green grass, bushes, and colorful flowers add interest and beauty to the home. Likewise, let your writing sit for a few days. Then revisit it from a new perspective and add the final touches to your piece.

6) Final walk-through – Thought you were finished? No. Be sure to read through your manuscript one more time—a final edit—before you submit it to your agent, editor or publication.


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Jackie M. Johnson is an accomplished author and freelance writer who has a passion for helping people who’ve experienced brokenness. Her first book, Power Prayers for Women has sold almost 200,000 copies.

A Milwaukee native and graduate of Trinity International University, Jackie lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

You can visit Jackie online at http://whenloveends.com/ and at her blog http://anewdaycafe.blogspot.com/.

1 comment:

  1. Editing what you write can be compared to updating things in your house, fixing what the previous owner messed with. In the end it comes out clean and to your liking. Thanks for the great post.

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