Sep 1, 2013

How to Write a Novel. (No. Seriously!)

Believe it or not, there are a series of progressive steps that one can take toward writing a novel. Here they are just for you:

1) Write a novel.

That's the flippant response, so seriously, here're the steps to take.

1) Figure out the genre in which you want to write. (Some of us still struggle with this one.)
2) Write a novel. (I'm serious. It ain't done until you've written it - all the way - not two chapters, not 50 pages, but at least 200 pages - and that's cutting it short.)
3) Edit the novel - spell check it, re-read once and make correction along the way, re-re-read it ALOUD - just once - and make corrections along the way.
4) Put your book baby in a drawer. Close the drawer. Allow to ferment.
5) Write another novel. (No. I am SERIOUS!) Write another freakin' novel. Don't worry about wasting your time writing a second novel before the first one is published. Just do it!
6) Repeat steps 3-5. Repeat it FIVE TIMES!!! (I AM SERIOUS!!!)

All this time, you're not asking for beta readers. You're not paying someone to edit book 1. You're not re-writing book 1 (or chapter 1) until it's a dead, wet, limp rag. You've moved on. You're writing books 2-5.

Enjoy this little time lapse interlude.

Now, open that drawer - you remember? The drawer holding book 1 for further fermentation? I warn you. Open that drawer SLOWLY.

ACK!!!!! EWWWW!!! Look what grew on that thing while you were away! It's hideous. It's got fuzz growing out of it. There are little wiry things that look like springs sticking out of it!!

But now, you are seasoned. You can now return to book 1, with the experience of having written five books under your belt, and you will know what to do with that fuzzy stuff and those wiry springs. Snip that ugliness off. You'll know it when you see it.

And this has another benefit. When you release book 1 and move on to snipping ugly stuff off of book 2, you'll have 5 books in the hopper to release back-to-back. Well done, you! You're a novelist!

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