Likely you’ve heard of the five stages of grief, yes? Well maybe you didn’t know there are eight stages of composing a novel. (Making this up. But let’s go along with it for the sake of this post.)
Quick review of the stages of grief:Denial & Isolation
Now for the universal stages of writing a novel:
BrillianceThe birth of the idea or character. You are pure genius.
EnamoredThe characters, the plot, the setting…all of it. You’re in love with all of it. Words spill out of you. The sun shines brighter. Bluebirds land on your windowsill, serenading you with a song you’re pretty sure you can interpret as “You are made for this writing gig.”
FrustrationAck. You’ve hit a stale patch. What to do here? Invent a nemesis? Stop writing? Delete everything you’ve written? Create a new story? You slam your hand in the window while shutting it to block out the jabbering birdie. Ack!
ConfusionWait, you thought you were born to write this story. What’s going on? Why the lull? Why the lack of tension, or characters weaker than tea that’s been steeped for mere seconds? Why? Why? Why?
Doubt & FearYou’re only halfway in. Not sure you can do this. Bit off entirely more than you can chew. No one will read this. No one will buy this. No. No. No.
PerseveranceSuckin’ it up. Getting back on the horse. Cantering. Shoving the words on the page with the effort one might use to smash a bullfrog into a thimble. I will do this. I must accomplish THIS!
The End. Typed. You stare, scrunch your nose, then reread the words. Me, you think. I did that? Why yes, you very well did.
ReleaseAfter a good scrub, shake down, declawing, shave, bath with stringent soap, and 182 other ways to edit your work, you find a way to let it go. Into an agent’s hands. To the Internet. To a publishing house. Take your pick. Find your way. But no matter, you release it and watch it soar.
Which stage resonates with you most?*planning to continue with these 8 Stages of ____________ over the next few Wednesdays
**photos by stock.XCHNG