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My Process for Writing Novels

The below is one of my novels that I’m currently editing/revising/rewriting. What you see is one of the pages I’ve worked on this morning.

What you don’t see is that this is probably the 70th full draft rewrite, and there’ll be more. I started this novel in 2016.

My process is to write the first draft as quickly as possible (for consistency in voice/tone/etc.), and then set it aside while I write another first draft for another novel. The interval between when I put it away and return to it can be a year or more.

I have one published novel and a bunch of short stories in print and online literary journals. It ain’t much, but it’s okay with me. My goal is to publish great literary novels. I may reach that goal, I may not. But I write every day. I do that because I can’t not write.

Your goals may be different. They are your goals, and no one can tell you you’re wrong about what they are. All I’d say is, put the work in. If you’re going to write, write the best book you can. Write the book you want to read, as they say. It may take longer than you’d like. You may never become a bestselling author. But that’s okay. You’re a writer doing their best. And that’s all one can aspire to.

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Oct 19, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

One of many ways to eat an elephant.

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