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How to Write a Novel in 10 Terrible Steps

October 18, 2013

Hello everyone! I was talking with a friend the other day, and they told me a secret. They had an idea. A secret idea. A novel length, secret idea. Knowing my own proclivities, they then asked how does one write a novel.

Not knowing how much detail they wanted in this answer, I answered in a rather Neil Gaiman-fashion, which is to say, “You, erm, write it,” because that’s what all the novel-writing advice out there boils down to: you just have to write the darn thing. That’s basically it. But I wanted to also make this friend laugh so I put it into steps. These are the steps I took to actually do the writing bit of The Bound Chronicles.

  1. Write the first draft of the novel.
  2. Cry.
  3. Cry more.
  4. Watch Netflix until you forget your own novel’s plot.
  5. Decide you and your novel are still worth caring about.
  6. Edit the novel until you’ve basically rewritten it, and it only vaguely resembles the original first draft.
  7. Question your own existence and artistic talent because you just had to rewrite your novel.
  8. Cry until you laugh or the liquor cabinet is empty. Whichever happens first.
  9. Sleep for a half century.
  10. Repeat steps 6 to 9 until you publish.

So really it’s like three steps of write, take a break, and then revise until you spontaneously combust. This is probably terrible advice, but that’s the way I did it.


From → Writing Tips

  1. Hello you have provided great tips here..

    • Thanks! They’re mostly silly, but also true.

      • Well..are you interested guest blogging?
        Thanks Cyril

    • Sure, why not. Should I go through share your articles’ general guest post submitting process? Did you have something you wanted me to blog about in particular?

      • write and share about writing,blogging..etc..

  2. I feel like this is legit. 😀 I think my steps get a bit more to the point of things, with far fewer tears, but then, you probably had a very cathartic experience. 😀

    SPEAKING OF THE BOUND CHRONICLES I’m still editing. 😛 It’s going slow because of classes and such, but it’s going. Can’t wait to see you on Saturday!


  3. I had to laugh when I read this because it was hitting a little too close to home. Ahhh good times.

    • Mmmm, it’s the best of times, haha. My friend’s response to the steps was to say that novel writing sounds painful. Like Charlotte mentioned, novel-writing certainly doesn’t HAVE to involve a small salt water sea: Charlotte once wrote an entire first draft in three days without even batting an eyelid! There seems to be as many ways to write as there are writers.

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