An abbreviated look at the process of writing a novel. For advice on what NOT to do while writing a novel, go here.
How to Write a Novel:
- Get an IDEA. If you’re reading this, you probably already have one. Move on to Step 2.
- CHAIN your arm to a notebook or a keyboard, depending on your method of torture.
- Buy COFFEE shares–you will be drinking a lot of coffee. (I’ve also heard that some people prefer tea.) And please learn to drink it black. None of this namby-pamby, sugary, I’ll-have-some-coffee-with-my-milk garbage.
- Finish a ROUGH DRAFT.
- No, I didn’t skip a step. Just get something on paper. You’ll be trashing much of it later.
- READ it and TRASH the really awful parts. KEEP the just-sort-of-awful parts. You can fix those.
- REVISE, REVISE, REVISE.
- No no no no no. You aren’t finished. REVISE it again.
- Let someone else READ it (someone who already likes to read).
- Pretend you’re in a book club. Ask your reader lots of picky QUESTIONS. Hopefully, they like you enough to put up with feeling like they’re in high school English again. (Although if you picked the right person, chances are they liked high school English class.)
- Ask someone else to READ it.
- REVISE it again, based on feedback.
- EDIT yourself or find someone to do it.
- Decide if/when/how you want to PUBLISH.
Aaaaand that’s it, folks. That’s how it’s done. Now get out there, and START WRITING.