How to Write a Novel
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
How to write a novel:
- Take a shower. Mull for forty-five minutes over the brilliant idea that’s been occupying your thoughts for the last two weeks. You know, the idea that’s kept you from getting any work done.
- Open a blank document. Stare at it until its gaping blankness consumes you.
- Check your email. Someone may have sent you an urgent message to which you must respond immediately.
- Flesh out your character before she takes up so much space in your head that you go insane. Write her down. It doesn’t have to be coherent; who ever said it had to be coherent? She’s scratching at the door of your brain; she wants out.
- Take a deep breath. That’s right, breathe the free air again without a voice shouting into your ear. She’s on paper now.
- Make a snack.
- Tear up the napkin sitting on your table from when you made a snack. It might not make you feel better, but your hands are bored now, and they need something to do.
- Check your email again. Someone may have sent you an urgent message to which you must respond immediately.
- Realize you may have fallen in love with your character. Worry about what may happen to her now that she’s writing her life story on your blank document.
- Print what you’ve written. Be your own editor.
- Tear it up, piece by piece. You don’t have to want to destroy it; your fingers have a mind of their own. They will rip off the corner first, and shred it. They’ll tear another strip, and another, and there’s really nothing you can do to stop them.
- Decide the only way to free yourself of loving someone who will literally never be alive is to kill her.
- Kill your character.
- Panic. You have just committed murder.
- Break down. You’re allowed to. You were in love with her; now she’s gone, and it’s your fault.
- Take one of those little sleeping pills you keep in the bathroom cabinet.
- Open a blank document. You have to put all these pesky thoughts somewhere before they gnaw their way out of your head. Write a heartfelt poem.
- In order to quench your all-consuming frustration over the fact that you’re just one step below a nice, even twenty, destroy another napkin.