The ten stages of novel-writing

As novelling season approaches, I thought I’d share the ‘miracle’ of how I do it. I offer this little list not as a recommended strategy so much as a confession, or possibly a warning.

1. I’ve had this BRILLIANT idea …

2. … And now all these other ideas are flocking to it, along with some people, and the stuff they’ll be doing and the places they visit … and … and …

3. Guess I’d better stop scribbling illegible notes and listening to my characters having conversations in my head and actually …

4. … write the opening of the story. Hey, this is fun. It looks good, in fact, it rocks

5. … but now I seem to have stalled. Suppose I should work out what happens next. Damn, this is going to take AGES

6. … 1,000 words more and I can have chocolate … 1,000 words more and I can have chocolate … OK, 500 words more and I can have chocolate …

7. Half way! Yes! At least I think I am. Well, hope I am anyway.

8. This sucks. How can I have wasted so much of my life on this sh*te?!

9. But I’ve got this far, I may as well carry on. And there’s still some fun stuff to come near the end.

10. Finished! Thank god!

 … until it’s time for the rewrites

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