Readers and writers often tell me, “Gee I’ve got a novel in me! How hard could it be?” Pretty darn hard, that’s how hard. Just ask any published author. The journey (I’m beginning to hate this word as much as “sharing”) isn’t for the weak-willed. It’s a sport I’d liken to the Tour de France (with or without doping). What are the phases of a novel and what does this mean for the writer?
Writing Tip for Today:
- First Stage: New writers love to talk ideas. They’ve got this great idea for a story where–fill in the blank. But the idea is the easy part.
- Second Stage: Writing is often cited as “hard” but for me that’s only in the sense that it’s discipline. You write whether you want to or not, whether you’re inspired or not, whether ten other urgent tasks await you or not.
- Third Stage: You finish a draft. Most would-be novelists don’t make it this far.
- Fourth Stage: Revise.
- Fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth stages: More revision.
- Ninth Stage: Gaining representation (i.e., an agent)
- Tenth Stage: Agent wins contract (or not).
If you believe this is the Yellow Jersey part, you haven’t been paying attention. Tomorrow we’ll discuss the potholes of the published writer.