HOWTO Write a decent novel in two months


9 Responses to “HOWTO Write a decent novel in two months”

  1. Cpt. Tim says:

    This is a great how to.

    But really it also hinges on the kind of person thats writing it. I’ve found that the most i can ever get out of pre-visualizing the chapters is the beginning, and the end. Then i start with the beginning and work toward what usually ends up being a completely different ending than I had initially planed. Little ideas that come out in the writing process make me think “Ohhh, it would be cool if i…” and enough of those and the body becomes incompatible with your originally planned ending.

  2. kevinmyrick says:


    I did the same thing with the first draft of my first novel (I’ve never had the stomach to actually sit down and edit it however) and started in late October of 2005 and finished it by the beginning of January. Basically two months, averaging about 2-3,000 words a day. I don’t think I could ever do it again.

  3. Jeff says:

    Xiguli, is your “wretched” novel published, or otherwise available? Just wondering how other writers are doing it.

  4. Jeff says:

    C.D., interesting insight into your process. Thanks for sharing. If you want to continue: “‘It was weird — the book just wanted to get out –”

    Do you find that you are driven in an obsessive way? I’ve found this to be true of many writers (the ones that will admit it). I like the Muse theory myself, Daemons, multiple sub-personalites that become more complex via character development. There is a theory out there that writers just have much more complex inner lives that require expressing, else they go mad!

    Lea, do you want to share some info on your graphic novels? A link in your profile maybe? I’d like to see more of what’s out there.

  5. Xiguli says:

    Oh, gosh, I don’t plan to even open the file again for at least another two months. I admire those courageous enough to make their first drafts freely available, but I’ve gotta admit that they don’t tend to make me want to read more from that person.

    First drafts are only interesting (to me) when you have a completed and awesome work to compare them to. Btw, Jeff, lots and lots of writers, pretentious and very much otherwise, enjoy talking endlessly about how they “do it” on LibraryThing (in the Writer-Readers forum, for example).

  6. Foolster41 says:

    Hmm.This article looks pretty cool. I’ll have to bookmark this and read it when I have more time. I’ve been trying to actually finish a novel. (I failed a Nanowrimo attempt last year).

  7. Lea Hernandez says:

    I’ve had two kids and written and drawn three graphic novels, a drawing instruction book, and drawn the art for a fourth graphic novel.

    I can tell you with authority that with the pace of Little Brother’s writing, you have a fair approximation of what it’s like to push out a kid. No stitches needed with the book pushing, though.

    Not usually.

  8. Xiguli says:

    This reminds me of The Snowflake Method, which I got to try out for my (wretched but enlightening) NaNoWriMo novel. I just used the first few steps, but the point was to go into the thing with a detailed plan. It lets you examine the begining, middle, and end simultaneously, rather than the novel form being like a tube you can’t see the end of.

    I love all the process tidbits you give us, Cory.

  9. Xiguli says:

    I’m sure glad BB turned me on to Vandermeer (thanks, Cory!). I picked up City of Saints and Madmen and found the first story (“Dradin, In Love”) to have some great bits but to be slow and so nearly despaired (because I could just tell it’s something I should like, despite my short attention span). But now I’m on the second long piece (“The Hoegbotton Guide to the Early History of Ambergris”) and find myself completely immersed in its bizarre convolutions.

    It almost makes me consider reading a Predator novel, just to see what Vandermeer’s writing is like when it’s not “layered.” Almost.

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