This is the baseline sketch. It all feels black and white, prose is wooden, characters flat.
The elements begin to merge. Ideas flow. The story starts to breathe. This is the place where you first start to weave a connection between the story world and the words.
Now we’re cooking! The characters have a voice and life on the pages. You disappear into the story while you write. Maybe at this stage it is good enough, but why stop there when you could go one level deeper?
You tweak for drama and page-turning emotion until the story consumes you. Then it’s ready.
If you’re looking for a hot read to get you through this weekend’s ice storm, The Grizzly’s Tale—the third book in my award-winning Pantherian Tales series—releases this weekend. And if you order today while it is still available for pre-order, you can get it for 99 cents. Stay warm out there!