Julie’s Guide to Writing a Novel (12 Stages)

Writing a Novel in 12 Stages

Let me just say, even though I’ve committed a certain formula to illustration here, the novel writing process is just that: a process. It is full of trial and error, it changes, and with each repetition you improve it. In fact, the process I went through with my first novel was very different from what is pictured above. What I’ve drawn here is based on my own experience and what I have learned. I can already tell you that in practice, there may very well be even more drafts. And cupcakes (one hopes).

Please feel free to use this illustrated page— share it, print it, color it, mark it off like a checklist for your own book– and, if so inclined, share what your own book-writing process looks like in the comments below!

18 thoughts on “Julie’s Guide to Writing a Novel (12 Stages)

  1. I can only see eleven stages ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Maybe the 12th is proofread the thing to death, or get someone to do it.
    I’ve never heard of alpha readers. Are you able to find people willing to read through early drafts Julie?

    • Hahaha, the proofreading would indeed be an appropriate 12th… Although I intended for the ‘alpha readers / query & synopsis’ square to count as two separate stages!

      And I suppose alpha readers are the same thing as beta readers– they’re just a first round of them. And yes, thanks to the critique group I’ve joined as well as some mutual exchanges I’ve done I have found people to beta (well, alpha) read earlier drafts ๐Ÿ™‚ Do you use just one round of beta readers, Roy? (Obviously there is no wrong approach– it just makes sense to me to use two rounds of test-readers to make sure you got the major kinks out!)

  2. Pingback: amandaonwriting: Writing a Novel in 12 Stages | Cheapest Online Books

  3. Goodness, are you supposed to send out queries after the second draft? What happens if they say yes but you find you still have a year of work to go?

    • Equal goodness, no! I wouldn’t query until at LEAST three drafts had been finished. I could have worded it better, but what I meant in the “query + synopsis” triangle was just to write the query and synopsis. It’s a good practice because it really helps you focus down your plot and story line, and also makes it easier to explain your book to friends ๐Ÿ™‚ I wouldn’t actually query until the end of the entire above process (the square that says ‘Submit’).

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