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The 14 Stages of Writing a Novel

The 14 Stages of Writing a Novel

*I have a poem in the newly-released Emerge Literary Journal!*

Yesterday I finished the first draft of the novel I’ve been working on. It’s 344 pages — approximately 98,000 words. Whew. That was a lot of writing, and yet it doesn’t seem like it because I wrote it in 5- to 10-page increments over the course of two months.

It’s just the first draft, so I will need to do some massive revisions and rewrites, and I’m not even sure if ANY of it is any good…recently I’ve been thinking this novel is some of the worst crap I’ve ever created. But at least I got to the end of the story. I stuck with the characters from beginning to end, so, I will choose to pat myself on the back for that, if for nothing else.

In other news, I recently learned (from the blog A Place That Does Not Exist) that anyone can write for Buzzfeed. Maybe this should have been obvious to me, but I had always assumed that someone got paid to write those articles. But no, people write the articles for free, and then the editors at Buzzfeed sift through them and decide which ones to feature on the main page.

I thought maybe I should try my hand at writing some Buzzfeed lists (you know, stuff like “23 People Who are Way More Awkward Than You“ and “The 65 Sketchiest Easter Bunnies”) because lots of people click through these mind-numbing, picture-filled lists when they’re bored or procrastinating, and perhaps this could be a way to bring more people to my blog and “build platform” which, unfortunately, is something writers are supposed to do.

So, as a sort of practice, I created my first Buzzfeed article here.  And I decided to create another one to celebrate finishing the first draft of my novel.  I found it rather annoying and time-consuming to search the Internet for gifs and images (and I admit to stealing a few from But I Am Le Tired), so I hope you enjoy my efforts.  You can read the article on Buzzfeed, or you can read it right here:


Stage 1:  Getting an Idea:

Oh my god, I have the most brilliant idea for a novel! This is going to be the greatest thing EVER!!


Stage 2:  Letting the Idea Percolate

I’ll just think about it for a while…



Maybe I’ll blab about it to everyone…



Stage 3:  Procrastinating from Actually Doing Any Writing:  


Stage 4:  Deciding You Don’t Need an Outline

I’ve got it all up here! (Taps to brain.)


Stage 5:  Day-Dreaming About the Celebrities Who Will Play Your Characters in the Movie Version


Stage 6:  (10 Pages Written)  Going Back and Rewriting the First Sentence for the Seventeenth Time 


Stage 7: (50 Pages Written)  Deciding You Should Probably Make an Outline After All   


Stage 8:  (100 Pages Written):  Starting to Get Confused

I’m not so sure about this anymore…



Stage 9:  (150 Pages Written)  Trying to Explain Your Novel to Your Friend/Agent…and Failing

It’s sort of like…um…


Stage 10:  (250 Pages Written) Starting to Hate Your Novel


Stage 11:  (300 Pages Written)  Really Hating Your Novel


Stage 12 (325 Pages Written)  Forcing Yourself to Finish the Wretched Thing

Come on, keep going…. Just a little further…


Stage 13:  Finishing the Novel! 


Stage 14:  Realizing You Now Need to Revise



About evalangston

Eva Langston is a writer, among other things.

4 responses »

  1. Aw, thanks for the shout-out! I will now commence “borrowing” gifs from you… 😉

  2. Girl, can I share this on my blog?

  3. It’s SO true as well, though I normally get to stage seven, then give up.


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