Monday, June 18, 2012

002 – Writing Process Overview

Okay, so three days a week for blogging is too ambitious. I always aim too high. However, I still have lots to say, so I will commit to at least one post a week on the topics I listed before. I say we dive in. Here we go!


The Writing Process Overview

Once upon a time, when writing was taught, students were given professional examples of writing, taught grammar, and then were sent back to their lonely rooms to produce a final draft. The only grade was given to the final product, so this model of writing instruction has been named the "Product" model.

It didn't work extremely well. Students were shown examples of masterly-crafted works and taught some mechanics of language, and then were expected to re-create the masterworks. It's a bit like showing an art student a Renoir, and that one can apply paint with a brush, and then sending her out to make her own masterpiece. There was some instruction in the middle that was missing.

Another model of teaching writing is called the "Process" model. It focuses more on that middle part. Teachers who use the process model recognize that not only is there a middle part to writing, but that this middle part is worth studying and teaching.

Every writer is different and has a different process. There are people who write fifty drafts and are never satisfied and those writers who sit down once and produce camera-ready final drafts (these writers are drafting in their heads, but more on that later).

Basically, the writing process can be broken down into the following steps:

    1.    Creating
    2.    Drafting
    3.    Revising
    4.    Editing

All writers go through these steps, although not all writers go through them in the same order, or give them the same attention. The point is that each step is a valuable part of writing, and if each is not addressed, the final draft will suffer.

In the next weeks, I'll address each of these in detail, with examples and exercises.

This week, your assignment is to consider your own writing process. How do you approach, attack, and complete a writing project? What steps do you take? What works and what doesn't work?

That's all for now. Go write something.

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