15 Stages of Writing a Novel {DONE}

1. Getting a genius idea for a novel

anigif_enhanced-21780-1412910809-13You’re so happy about it and you want to tell everyone.

2. The first few thousand words are a breeze.

anigif_enhanced-buzz-3360-1387916722-9This is so great! I’m writing a novel. My idea, characters are so perfect. No one has ever thought of this! Since I have an idea I’m so passionate about, writing this novel is not going to be so hard…

3. You hit a stump and decide to just think about the novel for a while


I’ll just wait for some inspiration to write. It will come to me.

4. You don’t have any inspiration and can’t figure out what to write

anigif_enhanced-29877-1413046081-45. You finally get back into the writing groove

anigif_enhanced-32428-1413045238-11You got this. The idea is still there. Things are coming along. Getting the novel finished will be easy.

6. When friends and family ask “So what’s your novel about?”

anigif_enhanced-buzz-14584-1412898231-237. You’re trying, really trying, to finish the thing but new book ideas keep popping into your head

anigif_enhanced-buzz-23249-1412914210-16This idea is genius…and this idea…and this one too. The only problem? You.still.have.to.finish.your.WIP.

8. Getting so frustrated, you wish you could just be Kendall and Kylie Jenner and have someone else write “your” book and you put your name on it

Kendall-and-Kylie-Jenner-How-Much-of-Their-Book-Did-They-Write-650x471I mean it counts as your book even though a “co-writer” did all the work, right?

9. You find other quirky writer friends along the way

anigif_enhanced-buzz-1946-1412920766-24They read entire novels in five hours like you. They are struggling to finish a novel just like you. They’re perfect.

10. Although youre still struggling to finish writing

anigif_enhanced-2377-1410976180-911. Various people and obligations start to creep into your writing time

anigif_enhanced-buzz-15997-1387916979-5 Friends want to hang out, and hang out some more. You’re boyfriend/girlfriend wants to spend more time with you. You need to pick something up for someone, have work obligations, etc. etc. etc. RIP writing time.

12. After a while though, you finally get to finishing the first draft


13. You celebrate

anigif_enhanced-29745-1413050393-2All of those people that said you couldn’t write a novel? Yeah, they can keep quiet now.

14. Coming back and reading over the first draft is cringe-inducing


It reads like something from the horror genre with the amount of cliché sentences, descriptions, and plot holes.

15. And you realize you now have to revise…and get it proofread…and formatted…and write a book blurb…and get a cover designed…and get ISBN’s and copyrights…and have people read and review the ARC’s…


Mosquitoland (2015): Book Review

Screen Shot 2015-05-14 at 5.52.08 PM

A thing’s not a thing until you say it out loud.

That’s one of the chapter titles from Mosquitoland, a road-trip coming of age novel covering new territory in a familiar and oversaturated genre. Mental health is a big component to in the novel. The one-sentence first chapter is I am Mary Iris Malone and I am not okay.

And she isn’t okay. Her mother was sent off to a mental hospital and hasn’t been seen for months. Her left eye can’t see very well and her stepmom (a Denny’s waitress no less) is getting on her nerves. Mary needs out and she does just that by hopping on a Greyhound, looking at a 1,000+ journey to finally reunite with her mom again. Oh, and she doesn’t like to be called Mary. Mim, okay?

A number of characters are encountered during the trip. All of them deal with their own problems and goals. There’s a big lady with a canister full of mystery, a poncho man who keeps stalking Mim, bus toilet with hard to follow instructions, and more. This is definitely more of a character driven book than a plot driven book. And that’s what makes it so good.

Mim is the atypical quirky girl who thinks abstract thoughts, has big plans, and is wise beyond her years. She’s the type of character you might see in a John Green novel…but better, more fleshed out, and someone who has hipster is tendencies but is actually normal and cool overall. The novel is told in first person present tense in Mim’s point of view. Words and thoughts stream together seamlessly. David Arnold is an exceptional writer.

Different sorts of lively characters make each chapter pack a punch. There’s normal adults, snotty kids, ex-convicts, and bad toothed smiling people. Sayings, interactions, and thoughts become so poetic. I found myself underlining and highlighting in the book NUMEROUS times (I think I have at least three dozen underlines, ha!).

I’d go out on a limb and say Mosquitoland is one of this year’s best YA novels. The different settings and characters make it a great read for anyone. It touches on subjects like mental health and soul-searching in such poetically touching ways. Even some non-corny non-cliché romance is thrown in. A

Never Settle, Keep Moving Forward

nQZcA7PRTyuduZPSZQ88_wanderlustWith New Year’s resolutions crossing people’s minds, and the everyday grind of work, it can be easy to feel stifled, unmotivated and wanting to be lazy. Don’t fret. Below you’ll find some awesome things to read and to use. Keep churning on!

Praytell Strategy: Never Settle 

Earlier this year, I got in contact with a startup “new school” public relations agency, Praytell Strategy. Aside from them having a freaking amazing site (I thought it was Squarespace, I thought wrong) they also have a great company blog.

One of the blog posts from earlier in the year could be super relatable to writers everywhere (even though it wasn’t even about writers). The agency’s founder, Andy Pray, goes through a rough time while drafting content for a social contest.

The post reminds me of when I was working on the first draft of my novel. Filled with doubt and an extreme critical eye, I would always not last more than thirty minutes or so of continuous writing time before getting frustrated and going on the internet, getting food, and so forth.

So what should you do as you’re trudging through writing and your self-critic won’t shut up as you try to reach your word count?

Keep going

Many times you have to go through the clutter to get the prize. If your writing isn’t working and you feel like throwing in the towel, don’t. Habits take time to build.Sometimes the grand idea is right around the corner.

Go on and read Praytell’s blog post on never settling. It’s short, to the point, and will get you thinking and ready to move.