how to write a novel

"no one knows how to write a novel until it's been written."

oh alice hoffman, your quote is so true yet so vague. what the accomplished author fails to say (and let's face it, the extended version isn't nearly as inspirational) is:

"no one knows how to write a novel until it's been written, re-written, edited, re-edited, sent to several beta readers/critique partners, re-re-written, re-re-re-edited, queried, rejected several times over, cussed at, cursed, shelved, pulled back out, re-queried, etc...etc...etc..."

yes, writing a novel seemed like a creative, passionate thing to do--and it was/is. BUT, it's cussing hard to pull off.

now that i've got that off my chest, there is hope and it has arrived in the form of some amazing advice. i'm currently having another writer read my manuscript--that's right, she's reading ALL 104,000 words and is making detailed notes throughout (the mention of sainthood is being thrown around)! not only that, but she has editing experience and is brutally yet constructively honest? double plus.

a few days ago, said *saint* bestowed upon me a step-by-step personalized plan for how to lay out my story. i cannot begin to explain how mind blowing this was for me--the clouds parted, birds chirped, and several rainbows appeared (there might have even been a unicorn or two, i'm still processing it)!

i truly believe after completing all of these edits (and it won't be easy, i'm going to have to dig REALLY deep), i will have written a novel.


  1. I'm delighted for you and completely agree - she deserves far more than faint praise!
    Another small step on a long and rocky road... but with each step its end draws closer.
    Publication looms large! (And, I hope, sooner that you might think :))