Technical Writer to Fiction Writer – The Process


Successful writing (fiction or non-fiction) is inside the procedure. No process, no product. Let’s have a look at a system you possibly already use as a tech writer, analyst, programmer, and many others.:

Look acquainted? If any individual of those is susceptible, you may not have a great product. What’s an excellent product? One that customers will use (study) efficiently. Note: As with every process, these phases are depending on every other. Work them up and right down to ensure they are aligned before you bounce in. You’ll, in all likelihood, make several passes via the procedure earlier than you’ve got an appropriate product. Writing is an iterative technique, not a waterfall (one-bypass) technique.


Discover the need

If there is no need, why are you doing it? If you need to “try your hand” at fiction writing, forget about this process and begin. If you want to try your hand and have a risk at fulfillment (that usually means human beings investing in your e-book or novel), you would higher follow a process. Even a fallacious system is better than no manner. The Same factor holds for a nonfiction venture. On your task, this segment is straightforward: There’s a new product, launch, process, coverage, or whatever coming out, and you get elected to do the documentation. For fiction writing, you need to do a bit of study.

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As an impartial fiction/non-fiction creator, although, you’ll better see if there may be a want and want earlier than you spend time on How to Grow Prize-Winning Garden Snails in Your Bedroom Window or Howdy-Doody on Mars. This is style research. In some other article (Is it Within You?), you made numerous lists, which narrowed down your hobbies to a few genres with a bit of luck. Now, go to the neighborhood book place and spot how many physical books on the cabinets are in your genres. Use Google and see what’s the call for. Check Amazon.Com. Look at blogs. If you may see a market, you may produce a sellable product.

Gather Requirements

Do exactly what you’d do at your on-the-job manufacturing. Do you need a User Guide? Full reference guide? Simple laptop commands or cheats sheets? For your own fiction writing, you will want to have an awesome concept about style, length, deliverables (print in numerous codecs, PDFs, eBook reader codecs, and many others.), and a plan for a few unmarried-sourcing.

For the Sorcerer novels, my intention from the beginning is to lead them to print as Print on Demand and in diverse PDF codecs. The original book on StoriesOnline turned into pushed through the center necessities to get HTML output. I researched the available input codecs, picked the only (it just labored out that manner), and were given the complete specification.

You will generate most of your own necessities. If you’ve got a Print on Demand publisher in thoughts, get their necessities. For an eBook reader or PDF, please make certain you have an awesome grasp of what they need as input. Establish your phrase processor (sure, you may do it in Notepad in case you’re masochistic) and plan on doing as an awful lot unmarried-sourcing as feasible.

The unique center requirement for the Sorcerer novels becomes tagged textual content: underscores bracketed italics, * bracketed boldly, br was a line spoil. No massive deal. As I completed putting a unique/e-book out on StoriesOnline, I stored a copy and went to a WYSIWYG in Word with full styles and web page layout specification. The goals right here had been Print on Demand (lulu.Com) and several sizes of PDF. So, your necessities will consist of your output media alternatives.


The layout phase for fiction writing departs fairly broadly from our everyday Tech Writer designing even though they do have some commonplace points. This is an extensively-debated segment among writers. On one give up of the design spectrum is the seat-of-the-pants or organic creator who starts of evolved with a blank web page and starts writing. He’ll refine with numerous complete drafts and rewrites. The claim right here is that there’s no limit on his creativity. On the other case of the layout spectrum is the outline/blueprint methodology. This has the story, scenes, characters, and many others. Absolutely laid out right down to much less than a page. After the author polishes the blueprint (lots of creativity here), he begins the writing phase.

Confession: I did the four Sorcerer novels in the lower 0.33 of the variety. I knew wherein each ebook became to cease, organized a few of the scenes where they belonged, stored extensive person and timeline lists, and allowed it to rip. I determined tons of the Craft of Writing after becoming the final 1/2 of the ultimate novels (I was, in the beginning, doing them simultaneously, considering that they had been concurrent).


If you have accomplished your requirements and design levels decently, the writing segment is simple. If you decide to head organic, it will be quite convoluted. Here’s wherein your artistic experience or abilities will begin to shine thoroughly. They’ve either were given to start acting within the design, or you have set to work the writing phase a lot. Steve Manning (see his articles right here on EzineArticles) has a technique of doing the real writing very swiftly; you must be capable of doing the first bypass/draft of a novel in less than weeks.

Some enhancing is a part of the writing segment. You have to can do the primary numerous yourself because you could get the scene transitions put in, repair the obvious continuity errors and catch a number of the typos and misspellings. It’ll be as much as you whether or now not you have got an external editor. For the Sorcerer novels, I went via 4 volunteer editors before the primary novel changed into completely posted to StoriesOnline — they ran out of time, have become ill, had Real Life issues, and so forth. After the final one, I did the best activity I should and permit it to rip.

My brother was given a Kindle final year and loved to play with it. So, I transformed my display-optimized versions into the Kindle format and dispatched them off to him. He had an exquisite anal-retentive time using the Kindle to copy an error, drop it right into a observe file, then take place. I’ve just completed the updates from the one’s edits. The final novel was quite sloppy. Arg.

Review and approve (edit)

In technical writing, programming, system improvement, and so forth., you evaluate/debug skip (or numerous). It’s identical right here and is referred to as modifying. You self-edit, perhaps get external edits, get the transitions and consistency accurate, do the final research and integration, and then you’re carried out with this section. If you’re focused on the traditional post-to-print marketplace (promote it to a publisher), you may probably go through quite a chunk of modifying and rewriting, which the publisher needs.


If you do not put up, you perish. If you do not say, “Here’s the very last product,” you might as properly now not have started in the tech writing global. On the other hand, we normally get paid for all the prior paintings if the bosses determine no longer to finish the venture. As a programmer, system analyst, or different tech-kind, if the product doesn’t get out, it will sit down around shedding bits and bytes until it receives filed away on your information to die a lingering bit-rot dying. Maybe you’ll be capable of use components of it in a later venture.


As a fiction author, though, the complete idea is to get your novel out to others. In the necessities phase, you set up the delivery media, right? The publish section consists of the final passes thru the formatting and located typos before you say, “Enough. It’s as equipped as it’s ever going to be.” You can sit down and varnish for years if you desire; it is up to you. On the alternative hand, at some stage in your experiences as a fiction reader, might you alternatively have something okay to study than nothing? We’ll never get it perfect, so do not plan on trying.


As tech writers, this phase might be short or long. When we’ve got the product, we inform the boss, “It’s geared up.” We can also need to get IT to put it on the server or distribute it to the users. In any case, someone’s got to tell the target market (you did establish the target market inside the necessities section, right?) that the product is there, why they must get it, and the way they can get it. At your job, you may also be performing some of the user training. In fiction writing, you have got to market your novel. You can do like I’m doing, which is running a blog and promoting on the Internet. You can use Amazon’s Print on Demand (CreateSpace) and promote it on Amazon. There are masses of methods to promote; which way you do it’s far a dialogue for different articles.


This is a short pass on the method or methodology. Other articles cross into plenty of extra detail and provide you with extra references on each phase.

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Harlan J. Whelan
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