The Five Phases of Writing a Novel

(From my experience)

Phase One: You’ve got the idea and you charge right in, saying ‘fuck it’ to the outline or the character development because you read a Stephen King book on writing that told you to let the characters talk to you, not the other way around. You get half the book done and you’re feeling good.

Phase Two: You spend most of your time trying your best not to go back and edit the first half of the book, while the rest of the time you stare at a chapter heading with no text under it. You often contemplate quitting the book because, hey, if you aren’t interested anymore, and the characters stopped talking to you, why bother?

Phase Three: You get your fifteenth wind after three weeks of analyzing your chapter heading and, again, saying ‘fuck it. if my main character won’t talk to me, I’ll fuck his/her world up and see what he/she has to say then.’

Phase Four: You complete your story which is followed by thoughts of suicide, emptiness, inferiority..deathly afraid to show anyone this mess you call a novel.

Phase Five: After a few weeks, you regain your confidence, send your manuscript to the editor, make the changes requested, and then, when all of your feelings of accomplishment and success threaten to overwhelm you, you close Word, close your laptop, step outside, and realize that none of your neighbors know who you are, let alone that you’ve just written a novel.


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