How To Write A Novel

I was chatting with Jenni this morning and she shared this with me.  I just had to repost it here!  SOURCE

1. decide you're going to write a book.

2. tell all of your family and friends you'll be writing a 'fiction novel', because it sounds fancier than 'book'.

3. figure it can't be difficult.

4. struggle to remember the few literary terms you picked up in college and/or high school.

5. use the words 'protagonist', 'plot', and 'fiction novel' as often as you can in casual conversation.

6. manage to impress a few people.

7. decide you're pretty impressed with yourself.

8. buy a new outfit in honor of the book signing you'll be attending just as soon as you start finish your fiction novel.

9. someone tells you that 'fiction' and 'novel' are the same thing.

10. you laugh in their face and explain that fiction is a GENRE, and novel is just another word for BOOK.

11. sigh.

12. realize what kind of incompetence you'll have to deal with.

13. practice your acceptance speech for the awards your book will undoubtedly acquire.

14. make humble faces in the mirror.

15. buy a new laptop because obviously you deserve it.

16. spend a few weeks choosing a title.

17. share your new title with everyone in your immediate family. ask for opinions.

18. roll your eyes at their possible suggestions.

19. realize your mother was right when she said you were the 'special' one.

20. decide you'll have to make future literary decisions on your own.

21. begin to feel a bit lonely in your Genius, but remember Melville's epic struggles and carry on.

22. write a paragraph or two.

23. hope no one notices that the protagonist is actually you.

24. reread your first page.

25. marvel at the ease with which you concocted such literary genius.

26. pee yourself a little because you're so excited.

27. show your work to anyone who'll listen.

28. realize you have exactly ZERO idea how the publishing industry works.

29. Let Me Google That For You.

30. stumble upon the Query Shark.

31. realize 'fiction novel' is incorrect.

32. laugh at the people silly enough to ever think it was correct.

33. obviously you never did.

34. ignore the stuff you find regarding query letters. those seem stupid and weird. you'll deal with that later.

35. manage to lock yourself in your bedroom in a crazed writing frenzy and churn out 100 pages.

36. stare at your monitor in absolute amazement.


38. try to calculate how 100 MS Word pages would look squished into smaller book-sized pages.

39. decide you've written something closer to 200 pages.

40. grab the last Harry Potter book off your shelf. stare.

41. realize you have 600 more pages to write.

42. write.

43. force your mother to read your writing.

44. shout things like, "how is that not clear?" "it makes sense once you get to page 52!" "you're not even paying attention to the story!" and "you just don't understand."

45. roll your eyes at the indignities you must suffer for your art.

46. stop sleeping.

47. eat coffee grounds for breakfast.

48. begin to hate your day job.

49. look down at the petty 'normal' people who surround you. scoff at their 'movies' and 'dinner dates'. find peace in knowing you'll be reunited with your fictional characters soon enough.

50. remember you have a husband/wife/boyfriend/partner/roommate/animal living in your house.

51. wonder how to get rid of them.

52. forget how to use the laundry machine.

53. realize you've written another 100 pages OH GOD WATCH OUT ROWLING


55. type like a broken man.

56. stop answering the phone.

57. wonder why you've been wearing the same pair of socks all week.

58. call in sick to work because you have to finish this scene while you're in THE ZONE.

59. realize you have no plot.

60. google plot.

61. contemplate its importance.

62. figure 200 pages is too early for a plot in your 700 page novel.

63. kill off a character for the sake of the plot you don't have.

64. weep the loss of your fictional friend.

65. spend a few minutes staring at your toothbrush, wondering when you used it last.

66. reach 400 pages.

67. understand that writing 400 pages is better than winning the House Cup for Gryffindor.

68. consider dumping the day job. 400 pages is a pretty good indicator that you're going places.

69. 500 pages. YOU HAVE WRITTEN 500 PAGES.

70. recognize that you have no idea what you've written. not really.

71. stop yourself just to recognize the magnitude of your brilliance.

72. you've written almost 200,000 words. that's like a million term papers.

73. wonder where that smell is coming from.

74. type THE END even though you know this is only the first book in a series of five.

75. tell your mother she was right.


77. you've written a book.

78. with words and letters and sentences.

79. ideas haunt you in your sleep, in the shower, while you're driving to work.

80. YOU ARE SO MUCH BETTER THAN HEMINGWAY and his flimsy book about the man and the fishing and the boat.

81. reread your book and decide it's perfect. beautiful. brilliant. a million adjectives.

82. decide you're ready to google the publishing industry a bit more. it's time to make money.

83. discover AbsoluteWrite.

84. discover Nathan Bransford.

85. discover Janet Reid.

86. The Rejectionist.

87. Pimp My Novel.

88. Kristen Nelson.

89. Rachelle Gardner.

90. read until your eyes bleed.

91. stare at your book.

92. stare at the internet.

93. stare at your book.

94. stare at the internet.



97. cry.

98. cry.

99. cry.



Khadija said...

I don't think I've ever read a blog post about writing before that was so true and so hilarious!

Jenni Merritt said...

59. realize you have no plot.

60. google plot.

61. contemplate its importance.

hahaha :)

*Chrissy* said...

I love love love that post. :) I was laughing hysterically and Joel was like, that's not funny. :)

Anonymous said...

Hahahahahah, loved this post. Sadly, it's so true! Glad to know I'm not alone. :)