Step 1 – Get a shiny new idea.
It’s brilliant, it’s fully formed, and you’re totally ready to write it and make a million dollars. It’s going to be the next Harry Potter for sure.
Step 2 – Write Like the Wind
Get that baby down on the paper. Drink about ten gallons of coffee, eat a copious amount of chocolate and use semi colons with reckless abandonment. Whatever it takes to bring that story to life.
Step 3 – Read over your Novel
And figure out it’s actually…not very good.
Step 4 – Take a few days to despair
Flop around a little, if you need to.
Step 5 – Steel yourself for edits.
Arm yourself with colored pens and index cards. Strap yourself in with your sticky notes and your highlighters, it’s time to go to war. Er…edit, time to edit.
Step 6 – Buckle down and get your edits done. Then send it out to beta readers.
Sit back and hope they don’t rip your baby to shreds.
Step 7 – Receive the feedback. Cry a little. Drink a little. Decide all the feedback is wrong and you’re actually brilliant.
Step 8 – Finally admit to yourself that the feedback might be right. Start on the edits.
One draft, and then the next, and the next.
Step 9 – Literally edit until you fantasize about setting the manuscript on fire.
Step 10 – Finish your edits. Polish the words. All the words.
And realize…you’re finished.
Step 11 – You’re finished! Celebrate, because you wrote a freaking book and you’re DONE.
It’s time to tell everyone how awesome you are. Take that, Grandma. You knew you could do this!
Step 12 – Realize the next step is querying.
And…that’s it. That’s ALL it takes to write a novel. No problem, right?
You got this.