Writing a Novel: My Process

Stare at the several thousand words written thus far on laptop screen. Hate them, and think about how people in your writing workshop would write much more prolifically or prosaically. Find spiral notebook, make character map: how they know each other and whose POVs get represented and in what ways. Return to staring at screen. Turn on Pandora, have internal debate over whether to write to Philip Glass or Feist. Decide on Glass. Screen. Get up, pull out yoga mat, execute several yoga poses. Abruptly leave room, walk upstairs to kitchen. Eat apples and prepare coffee. Return to room. Screen. Google “How to begin writing a novel.” Spend a few minutes on About.com, then Google other relevant subjects. Buy several short story collections on Amazon.com, then wonder when you will have time to read them. Screen. Write a few words, then scroll up and re-read the entire excerpt. Check cell phone, check Facebook, check e-mail. Consult with character map about whether protagonist met sub-protagonist before or during their time in graduate school. Return to screen and continue typing current segment. Upstairs for coffee. Downstairs. Yoga. Screen . . . Screen . . . Screen . . .

One thought on “Writing a Novel: My Process

  • Writing rhythms vary.
    Some either can, or can force themselves, to write a certain period of time or a certain number of words each day. For me, when it flows, I write like hell for as long as I possibly can. And when it doesn’t flow, I do something else, for as many days as it takes for the flow to return.

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