The first step of the writing process is prewriting
“The hard part” of writing, says playwright Tom Stoppard, “is getting to the top of Page 1.”
So how literate is your audience? Get a readability reality check with this slideshow.
Getting to the top of Page 1 is the job of prewriting, the first step of the writing process. That’s where you develop a plan for your story.
What is prewriting?
Prewriting includes everything you do to get ready to write. During prewriting, you’ll:
- Research your story. You’ve heard the phrase “hog in, sausage out.” No matter how accomplished a writer you are, your story will be no better than your material.
- Develop your story angle. Come up with the key message that will drive every paragraph, sentence, phrase and word of your message.
- Organize your piece. Spend a few minutes organizing your message upfront, and you’ll save hours agonizing over it later.
Prewriting will help you:
1. Craft your story. Typing isn’t writing; thinking is writing. Prewriting is where you figure out what you’re going to say. The rest is just getting words onto the page.
“My working habits are simple,” wrote Ernest Hemingway, Nobel Prize-winning novelist: “long periods of thinking, short periods of writing.”
2. Write to length. Why write a thesis when what you need is a tweet? Prewriting can help you write to length. That saves you the time you would have spent overwriting — plus the time you would have spent going back through to edit out the extra words.
3. Get ready to write. Prewriting helps you stuff your brain with information and ideas so the back of your mind can work on your story while you’re doing the dishes. Best-case scenario: You’ll write the story in your head, so it flows from your fingers when you hit the keyboard.
“Writing is no trouble,” wrote Canadian humorist Stephen Leacock. “You just jot down the ideas as they occur to you. The jotting is simplicity itself … it is the occurring which is difficult.”
What process do you use to get to the top of Page 1?
Master the 3-step writing process
Would you like to learn a system for Writing Better, Easier & Faster?
There, you’ll master a five-step creative process and a three-step writing process that will help you experience the joy of what creativity experts call “flow” — when your fingers fly across the keyboard to keep up with all of the great words pouring out of your head.
Use it to get a reality check on how well your readers really read — so you can reach them where they are, not where you wish they’d be.
Save $100 when you register by July 17.