How To Write a Novel the Hard Way

Posted by: Birgitte  :  Category: Write a Novel

I’ve read almost a 100 books on how to write a novel the easy way. Or at least, they claim to give me all the steps I need to just “do it.”

Well, I’ve been “doing” for 5 years now and have gotten my fits all tangled up with my starts.

But I just had my 48th birthday, and after drinking a second glass of REALLY expensive wine ($16.99 at Safeway) I remembered that at one time I’d made a promise to myself that for my 50th birthday I was going to rent a motor home and drive across the U.S. signing copies of my first novel at all the Border’s and Barnes and Nobles I could find.

That novel would be the one I’m still working on.  Okay, confession time, this is the 3rd novel I’ve started. The other two are in pieces, stuffed in the back of the kid’s backpack cabinet under stacks of crumbled construction paper and (I think) an old lunch box that I’m too scared to open.

So what is this post about?

It’s about my journey. I’m GOING to finish this novel.

Here are my goals:

  • Rough/First draft by August 26th 2011 (My next birthday)
  • Finished draft by August 26th 2012.
  • Agent by the end of 2012
  • Publication by end of 2013.
  • Road trip!!!!!!

Why do you care?
Because if you are on the same road I’m on, and if you need some motivation and support (like I do) then comment on my posts, others will comment back, I’ll write more posts, and before you know it, we’ll have built a support group. (A fun one.)

I’ll post my progress, but because I know those posts might sink you into a Stage 3 coma, I’ll also be posting the “How to” steps I stumble on along the way. Oh, and to make sure I do stumble on them, I’m going to go looking for them, so we can all benefit.

These posts will include steps like:

  • How to keep going even when I manage 4 different business and am raising 3 kids and working 12 hour days.
  • How to write a synopsis so I know what the heck to write as a novel.
  • How to draft an outline.
  • How to write a chapter.
  • How to write scenes.
  • How to make the whole thing interesting to the reader (and not just me).
  • How to make it through the ikky boring middle parts.
  • How to write a climax.
  • How to get to THE END and still retain my sanity, my businesses and the love of my husband all while trying desperately to get my 11th grader out of high school and into some college (somewhere) that will accept him.

Here’s what I need from YOU:
Any suggestions, workshops, ideas or support that you’ve found helps YOU.

You can email these things to me and I’ll post them on my blog (and give you credit for finding them) or you can post them in the comments section. Your choice.

Our journey.

Let’s do it!!

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14 Responses to “How To Write a Novel the Hard Way”

  1. claudine Says:

    Hooray! Sounds like lots of fun. I’ll follow your progress with great interest. You can do it!
    And I’ll follow in your footsteps, or eat your dust, depending on my point of view that day.
    Go, Us!

  2. Birgitte Says:

    Twitter: necessarywriter
    Feel free to make some footsteps for us to follow too, Claudine. It’s our journey and we can do this together!

  3. cindy Says:

    Twitter: writingtruestories
    looking forward to the updates. i too have been wanting to write a novel. well, actually, one novel and two memoirs and well, it’s a mess… so this is great!

  4. Birgitte Says:

    Twitter: necessarywriter
    Hi Cindy!

    You’ve come to the “write” place. Let’s make this happen. Honestly, it’s my only retirement plan, so really I have no choice. :)

    Any ideas you have, or things you’ve learned about the process, (or things you WANT to learn about the process) post and share here.

    I think the biggest key to writing and finishing a novel is moral support. I’m not good at giving it to myself, but as a group…we can create exponential morale, and MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!

    Yay, us!!

  5. Madana Says:


    I am working on my first novel. Your article was just what I need to hear. Thanks

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