A Look at the Writing Process: Stars of the Rock 'n' Roll Highway

Language arts students aren’t the only wordsmiths who struggle with the writing process. Professional writers follow the same steps, as seen in this journal of the development of Plum Street’s newest release, Stars of the Rock 'n' Roll Highway. Next time you’re battling writer’s block, just follow these steps.

Prewrite. When writer Vicki Pasmore, called us to pitch the idea for this book, we followed the FATP format as we brainstormed.

But we weren't finished yet! Before Vicki could advance to the writing step, she needed to finalize her list of entertainers. Making these decision on the front end saved her a lot of time in the research and writing phase. This list was her first attempt. We had a ways to go before we got this list down to 20!

Write. Vicki followed our directions for "sloppy copy." With first drafts, it's important to commit your initial thoughts to paper without being hampered by perfectionism.

Revise. We gave Vicki suggestions for expanding and tightening her first draft and were very happy when she submitted this revision.

Edit. But there was still work to be done! The editing process is when the perfectionist takes hold. Note that we adhere to The Chicago Manual of Style. And every step of the way we were measuring reading levels to be sure the text read at or near the desired grade level.

Publish. We followed that same process for each of the 20 entries, as well as the introduction and bibliography. And for each entry, our staff obtained a photo dating from the rockabilly era. Since many of the entertainers were deceased, we tracked down agents, family members, and managers. (It's important to clear permission to use a photo in a published book.) Sometimes we got to speak with the entertainers themselves!

To  learn more about the early entertainers along U.S. Highway 67, you can get a copy of the finished book, just released by Plum Street Publishers this month.


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