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Forest North | Holistic writing and editorial support for writers at every stage of their journey. Nonfiction & all flavors of fiction welcome here.

drafting out loud

I'm demystifying the drafting and revision process one day at a time.

Join the Facebook Group to follow along!

How will Drafting Out Loud serve you?

By witnessing the drafting process from the outside,
you can learn to write a better book.


After editing for fiction authors for nearly five years, working with over 150 authors, and editing nearly 200 books, I've learned this:  

We all have similar struggles.

Uncertainty. Lack of clarity. Confusion. Sometimes shame.
A belief that our work isn't good enough or that it's not worth it.

Sound familiar?

There's a lot of talk about the logistics of writing,
but we never talk about what it's like to actually do the work, what it's like on the inside.
We never see rough drafts in action. There's no Bob Ross of writing.

And so, when we finally start drafting our book,
it can feel like we're reinventing the wheel every time.

We wander into the wilds to birth our creation, lost to civilization and oftentimes each other.
By then, we're knee-deep in the process, mired in our own imagination,
and if something goes wrong, there's nowhere to turn for help.

But it doesn't have to be that way. 

How-to guides and step-by-step processes can only take you so far.
It doesn't matter what you know if you don't know how to apply it.
We don't have to do this alone, and we can learn from each other.

There's no five-step plan for good fiction.

The way to true mastery is by watching and learning from others as they work
and then applying what you learned to your book, in your own way.

I am publishing every step of my drafting process for your perusal.
The questions I ask myself, the decisions I make.
Content, character development, plotting: everything in real time, with no filter.
Complete transparency.

So you can become a better writer.


By joining me on this journey, you will learn:

- how to apply my five years' of editing experience to your own drafting process.
- how to make decisions about the elements of fiction.
- how to critically consider the different parts of your book.
- how to think about laying the groundwork for the larger elements in the book.
- how it's okay to make mistakes and what to do to rectify them.
- how the things you likely do and feel are normal and part of what every author experiences.
- how a book changes from concept, to first draft, to completion.

Why? Let me tell you.


*Editor's Note: Yep, I totally said "magnus opum" and meant "magnum opus." Latin!

Follow along!

Join the Drafting Out Loud Facebook group.

Best for: up-to-the-minute updates, Q&A, conversation & access to me. 

Sign up for email updates in your inbox.

Best for: weekly digest of happenings, all in one place.

Explore the draft in progress and my supplemental materials.

Best for: getting into the nitty gritty of the process itself & reading the draft, of course! 

Project Parameters, Phase 1: First Draft

Drafting begins: April 3, 2017
Drafting ends: September 29, 2017
Target word count: approx. 100,000 words.
Weekly word count: approx. 3,700 words

Rule 1: All content is worthy. 
Not everything will make it into the final draft, but I'm not deleting anything as I go. The draft and drafting doesn't have to be chronological. 

Rule 2: Drafting is a discovery process.
I've seen more early drafts suffer from strict adherence to outline than lack of planning. So: Soul first. Character second. Pinch points, snowflake method, etc. third. Lighthouses and gestures are useful for guidance, strict plotting can be accomplished on a second pass once we can see the scope.

Rule 3: Drafting is for drafting, revision is for revision.
Any feedback, thoughts, changes, additions, etc. requiring more than 10 words at a time will be placed into a holding tank and incorporated on the second draft. 

Rule 4: Mistakes are mandatory.
Perfection is overrated. Anything that doesn't work can be changed later.

Rule 5: However I show up each day is okay, as long as I keep showing up.
I believe that writing is more than word count, and good stories more than butt-in-chair time. 

The Weekly Chronicles

Introduction / Beginning of Drafting Phase

Week 1 (April 3, 2017)
Week 2 (April 10, 2017)
Week 3 (April 17, 2017)
Week 4 (April 24, 2017)

Week 5 (May 1, 2017)

Week 6 (May 8, 2017)
Week 7 (May 15, 2017)
Week 8
 (May 22, 2017)
Week 9
 (May 29, 2017)

Week 10 (June 5, 2017)

Week 11 (June 12, 2017)
Week 12 (June 19, 2017)
Week 13 (June 26, 2017)

Week 14 (July 3, 2017)

Week 15 (July 10, 2017)
Week 16 (July 17, 2017)
Week 17
 (July 24, 2017)
Week 18
 (July 31, 2017)

Week 19 (August 7, 2017)
Week 20 (August 14, 2017)
Week 21 (August 21, 2017)
Week 22 (August 28, 2017)

Week 23 (September 4, 2017)
Week 24 (September 11, 2017)
Week 25 (September 18, 2017)
Week 26 (September 25, 2017)


Conclusion / End of Drafting Phase