how I write a novel


I’m finishing the sequel to Indigo, Hearts Broken. I have this strange way of writing novels. Well, perhaps some other writers-of-novels out there can tell me if it’s strange.

They start out much as you would expect, at the beginning. They march on into the middle (I’m still not sure what the end will be at this point). I start to fall in love (or hate) with the characters, it gets more and more real, daydreaming begins, I devise whole scenes (many of them apocryphal) while doing mundane tasks, and then I start to block in the ending.

This is where the whole thing seems to scatter apart because I leap ahead to the end while planting little bits of dialogue or action here and there on the way – little signposts to scenes that I don’t know the reason for yet. Apparently the whole picture is in my head (I know this because it all eventually falls easily into place), but at this stage I have a beginning, a middle and a kind of patchwork third part. This is the stage where I think OH MY GOD. It’s all a big mess. This is a DISASTER.

Only I keep going. I fill in the gaps, I work back into the beginning, I reread and edit about a hundred times (still missing things, no doubt), and then I think it’s going to be okay. I’ve just reached this stage now. Phew. It’s going to be okay, it really is. It might even be good. Just keep going!



4 thoughts on “how I write a novel

  1. It’s great to read about somebody else’s process! I always have the beginning and the end — I always, always know the end. I go over and over the start, like the first ten chapters, and then muddle through the next ten, and the homestretch. That’s the fun of it, the last third, that’s where all the things that I didn’t even know I was doing, the details, the quirks— this is where they all come good.
    It is absolutely going to be okay!!!


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