Friday, November 1, 2013

There is No "I" in Writing

There is no "I" in writing. 

Okay, so maybe there is...technically, but I'm talking about that old adage "There is no "I" in Team." 

Today, I attended my weekly writers group where we struck up the conversation about editing. Sure, we've said it before, but another member and I were discussing how vital it is to have other eyes look at your work. 

I take pride in my editing skills. I'm decent at grammar and can pinpoint some issues with a storyline or character in my own work, but despite any skills I may have or may think I have, I depend on others to make my writing better. 

My process goes something like this:
1. Write rough draft.
2. Begin adding deeper story elements, add chapters where I think there should be.
3. Do point 2 again.
4. Do point 2 a couple more times until it feels finished.
5. Do another pass or two to focus on grammar and wording/phrasing.
6. Give the manuscript to my first round betas. These include: my sister-in-law, Jeanine; my good friend and English teacher, Bri; my librarian friend, Tracy; and a former member of my teen writers group, Danielle, who focus on big picture/content edits.
7. Insert/decide upon all suggested edits.
8. Send it out to round 2 betas, including fellow authors, Penelope King and Celeste Holloway, who help me with phrasing and grammar.
9. When it's finally ready, I send it to Mr. Agent Man and get more edits! 

This doesn't include the newer betas I'm acquiring through my writers group (Rell), nor does it include all the readers who've given me over all feedback or the crew of encouragers and cheerleaders in my family, church and community.

Without these people, my writing is nothing. So I'd like to say a HUGE thank you to all of you.

I must ask, who is your writing team? Is there a bevy of people who encourage you? Do you have people tucked in your back pocket to use for specific jobs?

Lastly, I want you all to remember, there is no "I" in writing...oh, wait...maybe... OH nevermind!


  1. LOL! My writing team is much like yours, fabulous beta readers, amazing critique partners, and a bodacious editor. The process would be completely impossible without them.

  2. Jessie, What is "Round two beta." In fact, other than the second letter of the Greek alphabet, what does "beta" mean in your message?

    1. Clark, A beta is the second set of eyes on your piece--yours being the first. Any critiquer is a beta.