The 8 Stages of Writing a Novel

Writing a novel sure sounds like fun doesn’t it? Getting to sit at home or in an office and allow your brain to mindlessly wander for hours on end, getting to make up a whole new world, and get paid for it! It sounds like a dream, right?


Writing a novel was one of the most stressful things in my life. For comparison, writing a novel was more stressful and filled with more ups and downs than working on my graduation project as a senior in college. And that was to make an informative website from scratch!

Over the past year I’ve dedicated enough time to writing my novels that one could say it’s a second full-time job. With one published novel, a second in the final stages of revising, and another in the works, I’ve experienced these stages of writing a fair number of times.

So here it is, the 8 stages of writing a novel:

1. Get hit with an out-of-this-world idea that’s probably the best idea anyone has ever had for a novel


Because no one else has ever come up with (insert amazing idea here), and if they have it’s never been written like this before!

2. Sit down to start writing, but realize you have absolutely no idea what you’re doing


Forget getting into the whole show don’t tell rule and creating compelling dialogue, it’s hard enough just to put a complete sentence together.

3. Push through the draft only to realize you’re not half bad at writing

Not Bad

Alright. Maybe we’ve got something to work with.

4. Re-read your work and doubt your entire existence


What idiot came up with this idea?

5. Get distracted by another great, out-of-this-world idea, that pulls your attention long enough to forget what you already wrote


There has to be a better idea out there. Look! There’s it is now!

6. Re-read again, realizing actually sound like a real writer

That's good

There’s no way I wrote this. Wait, I did? Oh, that’s good!

7. Ride that confidence through your final draft


Ain’t nobody gonna stop me now.

8. Publish and advertise the shit out of that novel, thinking that the hardest part is done, only to realize marketing is just as stressful as writing a novel


What have I gotten myself into?

So there you have it, future writers. The truth about being an author. At the end of the day, though, I wouldn’t trade it in for anything else in the world.


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