The writing process is challenging and may evoke substantial challenges in face of the writer. In this regard, one of the major problems a writer may confront is the problem of the writer block, which the writer has to overcome. To reach this end, the writer needs to generate ideas and to create the writing on the ground of those ideas which are developed further. However, once the writer ends writing, the writing is not fully completed so far. Instead, the writer needs to revise and edit the writing to make it as good as possible and to avoid technical errors, messed up ideas, poor structure and organization of the writing. Therefore, the writing process includes three important stages described by Elbow, Shelley and Murray, which include, starting the writing and generation of ideas, the writing proper and revising/editing activities.
To begin writing is probably one of the most challenging issues judging by the position of Elbow and description of her writing experience by Shelley. The writer should define the topic and get some ideas to start writing. At first glance, there may be nothing special about it but, in the real world, many writers face the problem of the writing block. Elbow raises the problem of the writer block, when the writer has difficulties with writing something he/she needs to write about (Elbow, 146). While looking for solutions to resolve the problem of the writer block, Elbow finds the similar solution suggested by Shelley since he also suggests writing everything to select the most noteworthy ideas and compile the writing into a coherent text. Elbow suggests writing all ideas to record them and to use in the writing process further. Even if some ideas may be useless, others may inspire the writer to create the great work as was the case of Shelley and her Frankenstein. Shelley also agrees that all ideas the writer has should be recorded to process them further and to use in the course of writing (Shelley 148). Both Elbow and Shelley argue that brainstorming is important since writers need more ideas to choose from and a good idea may inspire the great writing.
At the same time, Elbow focuses on the technical description of the selection of plausible ideas and pieces of writing that may be used further to complete the writing process. For example, Elbow describes cards of small size which the writer may use to record every new idea and use them to compile the key ideas of the writing. Such attention to details reveals how important the beginning of the writing is, according to Elbow. The author provides valuable recommendations on technical aspects of the brainstorming process.
Instead, Marry Shelley opens the personal perspective on the writing process as she shares her experience of writing and conducts the critical analysis of her writing. She uncovers challenges identified by other researchers, including Murray and Elbow, and provides recommendations on good writing. She suggests brainstorming activities and writing down everything the writer has in his/her head. Shelley conveys her personal experience and refers to psychological issues that the writer may confront in the course of writing and brainstorming ideas to start writing, while Elbow offers some suggestions concerning practical steps to undertake to generate new ideas and start writing.
At the same time, it is worth mentioning the fact that, in contrast to Elbow, Shelley focuses on the emotional aspect of the writing process and overcoming the problem of the writer block. She focuses on her emotions and reflections in the course of her writing rather than sheer technical aspects of writing. For example, if Elbow recommends taking paper cards to record the key ideas and makes other technical recommendations, then Shelley describes her emotional experience, like how she spend the night thinking of what she was writing about, and so on. Nevertheless, their message remains the same since they both agree that it may be difficult to start writing and writers should brainstorm some ideas to finally find the key ideas that are worth developing and that may inspire writers to start writing.
However, such approach also requires the use of rewriting or revising/editing activities suggested by Murray. The revision and editing of writing is essential. Elbow and Shelley implies this stage in the writing process rather than discuss it in details, while Murray focuses his attention on this stage specifically. Elbow and Shelley imply that writers have to generate ideas and they undergo through the complex and challenging writing process until their ideas are finally polished and presented in the plausible way. Elbow and Shelley do not provide detailed analysis of the revision/editing process. They just stress that finally ideas of the writer should be clearly shaped and the writing accomplished successfully after the hard technical work, as proposes Elbow, and Shelley implies that writers complete their hard creative work and accomplish the writing process.
Murray argues that good writers have to learn to be good readers first to be able to view their own writing from the perspective of a reader (Murray 77). In this regard, he suggests one more technique of brainstorming and writing, although he shares the same idea as had Elbow and Shelley. Murray shows that writers need to think carefully about their writing and the writing process involves the hard work from the part of the writer to overcome the writer block and to write effectively (Murray 77). Murray focuses on the analysis of the writing process and how writers work with the focus on specific stages of writing and rewriting. To put it more precisely, Murray goes further the initial stages of writing. In contrast to Elbow and Shelley, he focuses on the final stage, when the writer completes the writing process. Murray insists that writing is not accomplished at the moment, when the writer has completed it for the first time. Instead, such writing needs revision and editing to eliminate possible errors and improve the structure, wording and other issues, which the writer identifies while revising his/her work.
Murray points out that writing never ends since a good writer keeps working and improving his/her writing over and over again and there is always room to improve one’s writing. This means that the writer can revise and edit the writing over and over again and, at this point, his idea corresponds to the idea of Shelley that there is no perfect writing but there should be the strife to improve one’s writing and the hard work, the detailed analysis and evaluation of the written work accomplished, help to improve the final writing.
Thus, the process of writing may be challenging but writers should focus on brainstorming, generate ideas to start writing and structure their ideas logically, while the revision and editing process completes their writing. Elbow, Shelley and Murray describe the main constituent elements of the writing process and their works help to determine three stages in the writing process, including brainstorming, when the writer generate ideas for writing to start the writing process; writing proper, when ideas are arranged and presented by the writer; and the revision/editing process, when the writer completes the writing and makes it as good as possible.
Elbow, P. Desperation Writing.
Murray, D.M. The Maker’s Eye: Revising Your Own Manuscript,
Shelley, M.W. Introduction to Frankenstein.