Blog: My Writing Process

Blog: My Writing Process

Reading Time: 5 minutes read

I’m a plotter, which means my writing process has more than a few steps. I plot the story and I write character sheets. Not everyone works like I do, but if I can give anyone direction then I’d consider this post a win. 

For those of you who’d like an outline: The Snowflake Method is a good starting point. I used to use this guide before I found what works for me. 

Step 1: One Sentence Summary

I always start with a one sentence summary of whatever project I’m working on. It breaks the story down to its most basic elements and tells me what I need to focus on. 


 A group of teenagers set out to become heroes within a year

Heroes Journey

A princess runs away, into the arms of a sky pirate

—Coup d’État

 A soldier summons a dragon to fight demons


My structure is usually “A character does something with a twist.” It’s the most bare bones of the story, but it tells the reader (and me) what the bulk of the story will be about.

Step 2: Character Profiles

Next, I write up profiles for the most important characters in the story. This is usually the Main Character as well as any supporting cast who make more than one appearance. 


This one is Rueben—the MC from Serenity. I’ve broken him down into the most essential parts I need to write his arc. 

Here’s a blank profile for anyone who’d like to utilize it:



► P H Y S I C A L
Height — x’x”
Build — 
Complexion — 
Distinguishing Features ▼

► P E R S O N A L I T Y

► B A C K G R O U N D

► O T H E R

—Character Profile

Step 3: Bullet Points by Chapter

The last step before I write the chapter outlines is to write up bullet points of ideas for the coming scenes. The following image contains spoilers for Act 3 of Heroes Journey, so feel free to skip it if you plan to read the serial. 

The points are quick, point-by-point ideas of what could happen in the scenes. They’re summaries that I can later turn into prose. 

Step 4: Spreadsheet Scene List

The last step before drafting for me is a spreadsheet. I love my spreadsheets, and I find they’re the best way to track my writing progress and outlines. I include the chapter name and number, the Point of View character, and a link to the chapter (though lately I have been writing everything in one big doc).

I like to color my spreadsheets and make them match the theme of the story I see in my head. I also count the words in the outline, because those are still progress towards writing. 

Step 5: Draft!

And that’s the last of it before I start writing! Blank Page Syndrome gets me bad sometimes, so I like to add a one-cell table on the page of the outline’s contents for that scene. Then I write the scene underneath it. 

Spoilers for Heroes Journey Act 2 ahead. Skip if you don’t want to see those!

When I’ve finished the chapter, I delete the tables and then I have a whole chapter written! I combine all my chapters into a big doc that I call my Master Doc for that project. That way I can see how many words and pages I’ve written. 

The only thing left after drafting is to edit, send the draft to beta readers, and edit some more until the manuscript is as good as it’s going to get. This process can take me anywhere from three months to eight years, but I’m getting better at tightening that timeline. 

And that’s it—my whole writing process! It has taken me years to refine it down to these steps, but I’ve finally found what works for me. Something to keep in mind: there is no right or wrong way to write, as long as you’re writing. Progress is progress.