I am writing a book. There, I’ve said it. I’m out. Although the book is not quite finished, I have stopped to reflect on the different stages of writing a fiction novel.
The first stage, for me, was definitely the romantic stage. Writing a book has an allure. There is something truly whimsical about imagining yourself dancing in a meadow with a plethora of phrases spilling from your brain. Each of those phrases floats through the air and settles onto fluffy white clouds until you are able to collect them all and put them to paper.
The second stage is certainly more realistic than the first. This stage for me was jotting down the plot twists that I wanted in my story but not knowing where they would be presented. I also had to decide whether I wanted to write a full outline and follow it or if I simply wanted the characters to tell their story as they saw fit. There are many places in my life where structure and organization are crucial but creating a story is not one of those places so the characters were able to share their voices without my framework.
The third stage was fantastic. Once I had the basic premise in my head, I just sat down and wrote. Some days were better than others but I spent a significant amount of time each day seeing how much further I could delve into the story and where it would lead me. The best part about the third stage was getting excited when I came up with a new plot twist and having those ideas create even more scenarios that I had never thought of before. This stage was the ‘perpetual high’ stage.
I am now in the fourth stage, which is the panic stage. I am so close to finishing the book and now I am second guessing everything I have written. Are my characters deficient in some way? Does the story line flow properly? Is there enough meat in the story to keep readers interested? Am I even going to have readers? The list goes on….
I am hoping that there is a bright light at the end of this arduous tunnel when I gain back a little more self-confidence and I can just pat myself on the back and say, ‘you finished your book’. That in itself will be a monumental occasion.
I already have the sequel planned and seemingly I am willing to put myself through these phases all over again. They must make some sort of pill for this……
I will be one of your gazzillion readers for sure!
Thanks Heather! 🙂
Ah yes, the stages of writing. I think we all recognize them. But the fact you’re going through them means you’re progressing with the book, and that’s the best feeling of all!
It certainly is, Carrie. I’m so excited that I’m almost finished writing and can go back and read from beginning to end to see what I’ve missed or what I can add!
I love hearing about your process! I’ve been focusing more, this year, on writing stories to the end of writing a book eventually, and I’m just starting to come together with a process: Have an idea. Vomit the frame out, getting to know my characters at the same time. Invent more to the frame. Kill a main character. The polish. I don’t know how effective it is, so I like hearing how you do it. I like how you have the plot twists ahead of time! I usually have to make some up.
Good luck to you. It’s a very rewarding process regardless of how you do it.
I can’t wait to read it, I’m so happy and excited for you . This is a huge huge accomplishment!!
Thank you!! I appreciate that.
Don’t panic, Susan! Enjoy the process. 🙂
Thanks Jill. I just finished it tonight. What a great feeling!
Awesome! Congratulations, Susan! It does feel good, doesn’t it? 🙂
Thanks, Jill. In no way am I making a mockery of motherhood, but I feel like I have just given birth! It’s very emotional.
Yes, it is. You should be proud!!!!!
Thank you! 🙂
Oh, the need to write is a kind of sickness, isn’t it?
But it’s a good sickness. Congrats on making it to the “panic” stage! Good luck with your edits!
Thank you. I had a brilliant idea this afternoon on how to end the book and now I just have to write my way there. 😀