Hard Work Pays Off! 
The first thing you need is an idea and an understanding of your purpose for writing about the idea. This is called an  AUTHOR’S PURPOSE.  Your purpose can be one or several of these:  to entertain, to inform, to persuade, to educate, or to teach life lessons. My purpose was to entertain and to teach life lessons (the PERFECTOS learn a valuable lesson in acceptance and all that is wonderful about being unique). Knowing your purpose helps you understand how you will write to your audience. If I want to entertain I don’t want my story to read like a research report or I’ll bore the pants off my readers.

Once you have an idea and an author’s purpose you need to develop these universal story elements: characters, a setting(s), a problem(s),  major events leading to the main problem and then dealing with it, and finally a solution to tie it all together. I like Prewriting (1), the first step of the writing process, on a story map with these categories before actually diving into the writing of the story.

It is so important to brainstorm and jot down notes (Prewriting) about your story before starting to write because it gives you ideas to look back on when your stuck and every writer gets stuck! Next, it is time for Drafting/Evaluating (2). Quickly and neatly write down your work and don’t get to hung up on spelling or searching for the perfect word(s) because it slows down your thinking and creativity. You’ll have plenty of time later to add to your story (revising) and fix up any mistakes (editing). After stepping away from your finished work for an hour or so come back to it and read it  to see if you wrote to your purpose and included all the necessary story elements. If everything looks good it is time to move to the third step, Revising (3).

Revising your writing is hard work, but it is well worth the effort! As a writer it is important to SHOW not Tell! That means you want to be as descriptive as possible so your reader pictures exactly what you want them to, this is especially important when you are writing a story with no or few pictures. For example if I wrote,  “He was big!” you really don’t know whether he is tall, fat, or muscular. So a better sentence is, “He was as muscular as a gorilla and so tall that he had to duck as he strolled through the doorway.”  

So, next time you write a paper in class go back to it a day later and jazz it up with some descriptive adjectives and dialogue and then put it away. Pull it out in another couple of days and read it again to see if it’s as good as you remember - revise if needed. Then have a friend read it over and ask them: what they liked, what they think needs work, what they pictured when reading your description, if anything confused them, etc.   Once you are happy with your revisions have another friend help with the Editing (4); go slowly here because since we are familiar with our work we tend to miss the errors. Now it’s on to your last step, Publishing(5) your Final Draft!!! All you have to do in this final step is take all the changes you’ve made and type or rewrite (neatest penmanship) your paper so it can be shared with others.

I guarantee after all your hard work and friends’ help you’ll have the best Published piece of writing you’ve ever done! The Writing Process 
for a Fiction Book (details at the bottom of the page in Hard Work Pays Off!)

 AN AUTHOR’S PURPOSE - Are you writing to entertain, to inform, to persuade, to educate, or to teach life lessons?

 Read Hard Work Pays Off! at the bottom of the page for the answer

What else did I need besides an idea, an author’s purpose, and title?
 A Setting
 A Problem(s)
 Major Events
 A Solution 

The Writing Process - What did I do?

What’s the difference between revising and editing?
 Revising is taking away, moving around, or adding words to your story.
 Editing is correcting spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Learn about the author, illustrator, and the history behind PERFECTOS FIRST DRAFT SECOND DRAFT FINAL DRAFT Here is one example of my revisions.