The Stages of Writing a Novel

I thought this week it would be interesting to look at the different stages of writing a novel, with a little help from the fabulous Firefly series.

The Idea

A new idea presents itself and demands to be written. The world is a bright and exciting place. No other idea could ever compare to this one.Shiny

Getting to know each other

The characters have introduced themselves to you. They simultaneously tell you all there is to know about themselves, lie about their childhood and offer you facts you didn’t previously know. By this stage, they are as real to you as any person and you have long conversations with them. And by conversations, I mean arguments.

Jayne is a girl's name


You’ve begun your new WIP. The words are flowing, the setting is emerging and the plot is rocking your world. If you could bottle this, you’d make millions selling the writing elixir.

I'm a leaf on the wind

Plot holes

You discover a plot hole. Then another. And another. Dark clouds are gathering on the horizon.

We're all doomed, who is flying this thing

The sagging middle

Your WIP is sagging. You’re sagging. Can you really do this? How have you survived this far? Can you die from drinking too much coffee? Why won’t chocolate help?

I'm lost angry and armed


You and your WIP are friends again. The word count is growing and you’ve squashed your doubts. In fact, you’ve blown them to smithereens.

engine death

So, how’s it going?

People keep asking you how the book is going. Their eyes glaze over when you start talking about research, word count and character arcs. You wish they’d stop asking and they wish you’d stop talking.

How's business

Something you forgot

In your haste to get here, you’d forgotten that you’ll still need to edit this novel you’re writing. Despair creeps in.

everybody dies alone

The End

You did it. You reached the end. Your book is awesome. Even the editing doesn’t seem so bad now.

Time for some thrilling heroics

Finally, the whole process of writing a book can be summed up in a single GIF:

going mad