Good homebuilders start with a detailed blueprint that shows exactly where each piece must go. We think writers should do the same.

Writers often forgo the planning stage and jump right into drafting. Without a blueprint, the draft goes astray: It omits important elements, takes too long to make its points or otherwise fails to serve the reader. The writer tinkers and adjusts—then scraps the draft and starts over.

Here’s how we prevent those problems:

Front-load the editing.

At The Writing Company, we’ve learned to develop a solid blueprint for everything we write. That process includes:

  • More talking than typing, at least initially. A writer and an editor start by discussing the goals for the piece and identifying the questions they must answer to achieve them.
  • A detailed outline. The outline helps us identify potential problems (like missing information) or improvements (like rearranging elements) before we get too far along in the writing.
  • Drafting—only when we’re confident in our blueprint.

We’ve found that doing this work up front prevents major problems later. With this process, revisions can focus on refining and improving rather than rebuilding.