Marji Laine

I Love a Good Mystery!

Write Tip: It’s a Process – New Goals!


I teach a high school writing class. Have had some of the brightest writers involved, but every year, I have to teach them the Writing Process. We spend a while discussing Planning tricks, ways to get their thoughts in order and collect some topics for their writing. They find out quickly that turning in a Draft is unacceptable. (I have a pretty high standard.) After only a few classes, they start taking advantage of sending their work to me for notes on Revision. I’ll usually give them some Edit notes as well before they turn in their Final Work.

My students have figured it out. They now completely realize the benefits of each step in the process.
I’ve learned the benefits, too.
In preparation for the 4th Round of ROW80, I set up my story, outlined the events, jotted down my scenes according to POV and posted them all in a day-to-day time line on a huge story board. I researched some topics that I’d needed to get started, too. That was my Planning. 
Since October 3, I’ve been writing for at least 2 hours every weekday to get through the Draft. I didn’t end up missing a day, although I missed my word count goals a couple of times. Missing a little here and there didn’t matter, as I tended to write a little over the weekend. Enough to make up the difference anyway.
Now I face the next step. My goals are officially changing. I have two completed novels that are begging forRevision. Both of my novels need the same type of revision. Since I’ve already set up queries, proposals, and synopses for the earlier book, and collected beta reader input, I planned to start with that one. But I’m passionate about the one I just finished. My mind tells me to step back, but it’s so darn close, much closer than the earlier one is. So I’m going with my heart on this one.

My writing goal is changing drastically. Still Monday through Friday, my goal is to thoroughly revise 10 pages per day, that will cover a chapter or most of one. I intend to use my critique group notes, Plot and Structure by James Scott Bell, and some excellent lesson blogs posted by Susan May Warren to dissect this story and piece it back together. Tight and Creative.

My wish is to have the revisions completed and ready to shop by January 1. Not sure I can actually make it, but I’m gonna give it my best shot. Will be taking it for Editing critiques at the same time. Editing is always much easier than revising!
Hopefully, all of this work will pay off with the next process of my final step of Publishing.
I know most of the folks reading this post have published or have a dream of publication. What is your best advice or experience you’d pass on to me or any aspiring author?

Author: Marji Laine

Marji is a recently "graduated" homeschooling mom whose twin girls have blessed her by sticking around the nest for a little longer. She spends her days directing the children’s music program at her church and working with the authors of Write Integrity Press to put out the best possible version of their books. Raised in suburban Dallas, she got her first taste of writing through the stories of brilliant authors of their day, Mignon Eberhart and Phyllis A. Whitney, and through stage experience. After directing and acting in productions for decades, Marji started writing her own scripts. From that early beginning, she delved into creating scintillating suspense with a side of Texas sassy. She invites readers to unravel their inspiration, seeking a deeper knowledge of the Lord’s Great Mystery that invites us all.

7 thoughts on “Write Tip: It’s a Process – New Goals!

  1. I actually love the editing/revision process as much, if not more, than the writing. I like seeing thoughts take shape into an actual novel. Best of luck with this exciting stage.Great checkin!


  2. Thanks, Juliana! I'll look into that!


  3. Did you read Save the Cat! by Blake Snyder? you should. It's for screenwriting, but it's highly recommended for novel writing too. And I'll say: I love the book! It makes plot easy. Seriously!Give it a try 😉


  4. Thanks, Kim! I'm excited about the prospects!


  5. How exciting to be moving on to the next stage! Congratulations on having two novels ready for revision! I am looking forward to reading about your adventures as you go through that process. Good luck!


  6. Thanks, Maria! So look forward to getting to the next step!!Happy Thanksgiving!


  7. Awesome, Marji! So neat that you take what you teach and apply it to your own craft. Looking forward to reading your published work! Happy Thanksgiving, my friend! 🙂