Production Pipeline for Fiction

I’ve been spending all my creative time proofing Errant Gods for what feels like the last eon or so. Because I am using Microsoft Word, in its infinite glory, I am now borderline psychotic. This has led me to think about other things in other, special ways…and I’ve come up with the perfect production pipeline for writing fiction. Here it is:

  1. Come up with an Idea.
  2. Think about the Idea
  3. Reject the Idea because it sucks
  4. Think about the Idea more (because you don’t have a choice)
  5. Decide the Idea is okay after all
  6. Begin writing
  7. Write a little more
  8. Decide everything you’ve written sucks
  9. Write more anyway
  10. Decide the newly written material sucks, but maybe the first batch was okay
  11. Rinse and repeat 9 and  10 until the novel is “finished” (which just means the real work is about to begin)
  12. Reread the novel, decide it sucks
  13. Rewrite the novel to see if anything can be salvaged
  14. Decide everything you’ve rewritten sucks
  15. Rewrite again
  16. Repeat 14 and 15 until either: 1) you can’t make it any better, or 2) you become so cross-eyed you can no longer read English.
  17. Decide it sucks, but that an editor might be able to help
  18. Do a quick, cursory proofread so that you don’t look like in edaot to teh aditor.
  19. Send it away with a smile
  20. Realize the novel sucks
  21. Get the editor’s changes back and go through them all, making appropriate changes
  22. Begin final proofing, using either Microsoft Word, or a spiked hammer, whichever hurts more (MS Word, trust me).
  23. Decide it sucks, but continue proofing
  24. Publish it (even though it sucks).

At one time, I thought this idea that everything you do must suck was only part of the production pipeline for new authors. Then I read an article about Stephen King where he talked about being really nervous about publishing Mr. Mercedes because he “was supposed to be that scary guy” and he was afraid his fans wouldn’t like it…

Wow. This post sucks.

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