Articles, For Writers, Inspirational

Building A House

I have just completed a story. Hey, that’s great, I hear you say. Yes, it is but it’s a long way from being a book. Now the work truly begins. Thinking about it, I can liken it to building a house.

The Frame Work – First Draft

Putting the idea on paper is like constructing the framework of the building – it’s not really a story yet because it’s see through, like building blocks that tentatively connect.

Build the Inside – Second Draft

Here I fill in further details and look for places where it doesn’t link to the frame. I then search for holes and test it’s sturdiness.

Make Rooms

I start to build the rooms up now. These are my chapters, sections and scenes.

Walk Through

Does it flow between rooms? Do the chapters move seamlessly through each other in the right order?


Now I have the rooms all set up correctly, is it comfortable? This is where I fill out the story and put in further details and descriptions. I paint the inside in pretty colours – meaning, I change words and look for prose that is more descriptive and pleasant on the eyes. I check to see the furniture fits where I put it. Do my scenes work? Do I need to move them to a better place?

Finally Be an Estate Agent

Show it to multiple clients. Read it through again, put it away, and read again with fresh eyes. Be a reader, see it through their eyes.

Now your house is ready to pass on to someone else. Your editor.

You’re proud of your ‘baby’. But, the editor immediately points out all the things that don’t work and can be improved.

  • They will tell you if a sentence is awkward or clumsy.
  • Or, the narrative is too long – break it up with dialogue or thoughts.
  • You’ve more than 30 words in this sentence – break it up.
  • Remember, one paragraph, one subject.
  • It should be a new line for each person speaking.
  • This paragraph is a repeat of what you’ve already said – remove it.
  • Cause and effect. You have the effect before we know what caused it – rewrite it.

You’re in tatters. You feel like your baby, the story you have worked on for months, has been torn apart.

There is no doubt it hurts and many find this process brutal, but you both want the same thing. Your editor has invested in your story, has worked many hours with your characters. They want the very best for it, and for it to be the best it can possibly be. In essence, you both want the same thing.

Your editor knows their craft and has knowledge you don’t. They are there to advise you, although you don’t have to accept everything they suggest.

Now, with their valuable help, you have a book that readers will love. You know it’s perfect. Although it was hard, the end result is a fine body of works you can be proud if.

I’m proud of mine.

4 thoughts on “Building A House”

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