HAVE A STORY TO TELL?
What is your story about? (Write this in one sentence.)
Focus on gathering all of your ideas for your story in a clear and compact sentence. Once you can do this, or should I say master this, you will now have a story to tell. Keep it simple.
WHO ARE THE CHESS PieCES OF YOUR WORLD?
Who are your characters?
It's important to know how many characters will be playing in your stories and the purpose that they will be fulfilling throughout the journey as the role of your main character(s).
DO YOU REALLY KNOW YOUR CHARACTERS?
What makes them unique?
(If you don't have an idea of who your characters really are, neither will your readers.)
Create the mind and body of your characters, including psychological behaviors. Do they have any habits, fears, phobias, fettishes, things that they're hiding, twitches? How do they speak? This can be determined in the characters strengths, insecurities, background, upbringing and so forth. It's important for you to know all the gritty needy details of these character(s) that you are giving life too. However, it is not necessary for the readers to know what you know, only that it is conveyed through the showing of your words.
WHAT ARE WE GEtTING AT?
(Where are you bringing your readers to?) What is the objective of the story?
The goal(s) of your character(s) should be introduced earlier on in the story and progressed or even sometimes changed based on the obstacles that he, she or they have to face. Knowing this in advance will give you more freedom to play with your characters and have fun in the writing process. Never will you be faced with writer's block, and if you do stumble upon writer's block, it'll be minor.
WHY ARE YOU WRITING THIS AGAIN?
Constantly fuel your mind as to why you started writing your story in the first place. Have an automated reminder for your influence. For example, for my story Juice Kids I constantly reminded myself how happy, awe inspiring, funny, and very mysterious I wanted the story to be for kids all around the world. I even designed a vision board that continuously gave me the juice I needed to get things going.
WHO is YOUR AUDIENCE?
(What age group?)
If you want to write for kids, like I did, then you have to remember or practice the elements of amusing children. Think like a kid—I mean it! If you're writing for young adults then you have to step it up a notch and start getting into what teenagers are into nowadays. Because unlike kids and adults, teens are more prone to what's current. Which means that they are susceptible to modern trends and urban phrases; if your characters are saying words like "Holy mackerel!" Then you are out of date unless your book takes place in the time in which that term was used.
Write without stopping for the need to edit.
Most of the time our first manuscript or draft is always filled with errors anyways right? So why bother perfecting it as you write. You'll be wasting too much time on an irrational effort. Remember our focus here is in having you finish your manuscript in one season! Even if you feel like there's a lot of grammatical errors, who cares, just write it down until its all finished! So write trash!
What did you write?
Revise and edit your work until you iron out all of the wrinkles. This is when editing becomes vital. Do your revising, then send it to an editor to re-revise your work. Editing your work all by yourself is not the answer; there's always something in which your eyes did not catch.
Know your story!
Polish out the plot holes that you may have. Make sure that there are no missing details that are vital to the story. See that the plot is clear and can be understood not only by yourself but also the masses. Your editor will also be of help in this phase.
You're ready for a third eye!
Find someone you know that is an avid reader (who can also be your editor) who can clearly understand your story and validate that it make sense in the world of literature. Do not take upon someone who reads partially or does not understand literature. Not only will you be wasting your time but you'll be wasting his or hers too. You need a judge who 'in the court of literature' can honestly say that your story is book material.