Most authors compose their blog posts, social media posts, and even their books directly on the computer. Many of them begin with an idea, then construct an outline. It depends on the author as to how detailed to make that outline. The outline can include the acts, the scenes, the chapters, what happens in each chapter, which characters come/go in each scene/chapter. I think this helps authors write their books quicker and more efficiently, meaning that perhaps they need to do 19 rounds of edits. With an outline, sticking close to 50-70K words, composing directly into Scrivener (most used by authors), it’s probable that writers can publish a book every month to two months. If they write to market (only write what genre/trope is currently selling) and create a series (what most readers want) readers enjoy, then they make bank.
I had a chat with a writer friend yesterday where we discussed the difference between our process and what we’ve read and heard other authors do. Though she outlines (and has said it helps with her writing speed) and uses Scrivener, she still thinks her speed is too slow to put out more than 3 or 4 books a year. I think that’s pretty great! Avid readers have more than one authors they follow, so they can return to her books 4 times a year! My process is much slower. I handwrite in a spiral notebook, then I type on Word. There are a couple rounds of edits, then a beta read, then another 8+ rounds of edits before I format, and on occasion, I’ve had to edit, then, too. My novels average 130K, which is like 2 novels of other authors. I’ve accepted that this is just my process. I don’t see myself publishing 3-4 novels a year because I just can’t write/edit that quickly. Even though I have several series, I write from my heart, from the movie screen in my head. My stories are immersive and complicated. I won’t apologize for that. I just accept that this is my process.
I mention the above because as I’m going through this round of edits on a story I didn’t think I would be editing so much, I’m finding myself composing on the computer because scenes have been left out. A secondary character who has an important part with the villain doesn’t show up often. I’ve had to change that. There have been scenes that needed to be added. Instead of writing them first, then typing, I’m putting them directly into my Word doc. It’s hard! And I can say that when this manuscript is done, I’ll be glad to take a break from editing for a while! And likely take a break from long projects, too. I’m still targeting the end of July for this release.
Here’s to knowing your process–what’s hard, easy, what you’re willing to put up with, and what doesn’t work for you. Awareness, then acceptance…possibly change.