My Noveling Process [in gifs]

Noveling is a process. It’s arduous. The Arduous Process looks different for everyone, but I just want to share a snapshot of what noveling is like for me, personally.

Obviously, there will be gifs.

Here it is from start to finish (because there comes a point where a novel is finished, right? RIGHT????).

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The Spark of Creation (aka: when an new story idea strikes).

The moment of inspiration is different for every novel, but the moment it takes root, there’s no going back.

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This is the part where I cheat on the novel I was working on by thinking about and creating playlists and Pinterest boards for my new idea. It’s all fun and games in the beginning, when it’s forbidden.

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^^^ me having fun with all the new characters and plot bunnies and worldbuilding nerdiness ^^^

Everything is shiny and new and exciting about this idea, and I’m usually pretty jacked and acting kind of weird around the house.

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It’s very much like the beginning of The Lion King, when everything is bright and hopeful and beautiful.

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I am Rafiki; Simba is the new idea

Drafting Begins (aka: I write the rough draft of the novel).

It’s time to get started! All the Pinteresting and playlist-making and movie-trailer-dreaming has come to this, and it’s time to start actually writing the novel. I couldn’t be happier!

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Two chapters into the novel:

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But I’m not stressed because I’m a discovery writer, which means I don’t plot out a novel before I write it; I just start with some inspiration and make most of it up as I go along (because what can possibly go wrong with that?).

This leads us to the next phase: intermittent snacking.

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The time eventually comes to kill off the first character. I usually meet this challenge with a healthy mixture of maniacal zest and sincere sorrow.

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I also tend to get stuck in research ruts, which is where I spend five and a half hours researching one minute detail (which I’ll probably end up throwing out further down the line in the editing process).

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^^^ me after getting stuck in a  research rut ^^^

By this point, we’re where everything is falling apart for the characters, and my main character has reached their lowest point (this is often called “the dark night of the soul”). All their hopes and dreams (and maybe even some of their loved ones) have gone up in smoke. It’s a very traumatic time. For the main character. Less so for me.

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^^^ me watching my characters hopes and dreams (and maybe even some loved ones) go up in smoke ^^^

Inevitably, I slow to a halt and spend a while existential crisis-ing.

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Shortly after this, I complete the first draft, which is hands down one of the most amazing feelings of this whole process.

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Editing Begins (aka: I try to fix up the story to make it presentable to others, and it promptly falls apart).

Editing usually begins well. I typically take a few month break (sometimes even more) between my first draft and my second draft and am thus very refreshed and ready to dig into my novel once more.

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I read the first draft, which often feels like I’m discovering the novel for the first time all over again. Except this time without all the frills and euphoric visions. No, this time, I read it with all the cynicism my dual personality can muster.

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^^^ actual footage of me reading dialogue from my first drafts ^^^

And then I begin to notice that there are some, well, some rather large problems that my witty back and forth banter with myself won’t fix.

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Then, I lose all comprehension of all words, story craft, plot structure, character building, etc..

Enter from stage right: the Google search.

Typical Editing Phase 1 Google searches look like:

  • how to tell if your novel has a plot
  • yikesyikesyikesyikes
  • how to plot a novel
  • why does my main character need to have a goal?
  • how to write a plot twist
  • wHaT IS A pLOt?
  • is my novel trash?
  • save me

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People generally think it’s pretty cool that I write novels, and this is the part (when I can’t recall the difference between an inciting incident and a plot twist) where they ask about it. I can’t help myself but respond thusly:

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Editing Continues (aka: something has gone terribly wrong with the story and I’m still editing it a year and a half later).

It’s usually at this juncture that I find some irreparable plot hole and can’t cope.

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me, not being able to cope with the gaping hole in my plot

Eventually, I do learn to cope…

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because if you can’t fix it, you might as well burn it

As I said, some people are kind enough to check in with me every once in a while. They’ll ask me again about my novel, to which I reply like Edna Mode:

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which is really code for “I’m dying*

Despair and confusion continues.

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And continues…

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After I’ve spent three years of my life editing a novel….

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After I’ve reworked that first chapter approximately 4543 times:

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Again, with the thoughtful, invested people asking me how the novel is coming:

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I am Mike, the inquisitor is Sully, the novel is Boo.

But then I start to get a second (or maybe this is the third? Or fourth? Or fifth?) wind, and things start to turn around. Something clicks in my brain; I get some sort of breakthrough. I see how to take this novel to the next level and end this hell editing.

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we all knew this gif was coming

I respond in the only way I can.

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In general, there is Renewed Vigor, and I’m ready to kick this novel in the butt.

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^^^ me and my Renewed Vigor ^^^

Me to my Renewed Vigor:

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And then, some time later, I finish the novel.

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And there it is, friends.

My noveling process from start to finish. Now, please excuse me while I get back to editing my novel.

What does your process look like?

With love,

Rosalie

p.s. – this was going to be a serious post, but that clearly didn’t happen, lol. Someone *cough cough* let themselves loose on a gif-hunt, and now here we are.

p.p.s. – I think I may have used a record number of gifs in this post. I was also a bit loopy while putting together this post because I’ve been staying up late working on my novel and am thus a little sleep-deprived.

The 6 Stages of a Weekday [if ever there was a post to be a gif-full post, it is this post] [seriously, though, we’re looking at less than 200 words]

This is a #realtalk post, my friends. It’s about weekdays.

Let’s get to it.

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Stage One: Waking From Slumber.

Alarm #1.

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*gently snoozes*

Alarm #2.

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*snoozes less gently*

Alarm #3.

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*failing to silence alarm #3*

Stage Two: Waking From Slumber [the sequel].

Actually up.

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Profound words.

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Food is our friend.

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Coffee.

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it’s all better now

Stage Three: Assessing the To-Do List.

On first glance…

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After further contemplation…

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A little bit later.

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sometimes I get some earthshaking revelations

Stage Four: Work.

(Disclaimer: I enjoy my day job immensely, but it requires departing from the the house. Thus…)

At first.

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Suiting up.

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At work.

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because I can

Stage Five: The Revenge of the To-Do List

Approach #1.

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Approach #2.

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Approach #3.

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Approach #4.

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Approach #5.

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Approach #6.

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wait a sec. I think something might be happening.

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oh wow

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you better believe it

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boom

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yassssssssssssssss

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MWAHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH

Stage Six: The End of the Day.

Reading.

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Food.

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More reading.

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General merrymaking.

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The End.

Yeah, that basically sums it up.

Does any of this apply to you wonderful people? Which stage do you find yourself caught in the most? What stages do you experience that I do not?

With love,

Rosalie

P.S. – congrats to Lisa from Inkwell on winning the magazine giveaway! Watch your inbox for an email from me! :D

A Single’s Guide to Surviving Valentine’s Day

Twas the day before Valentine’s Day, and all the lovebirds were planning. And all the singles were sighing, all too aware of their loneliness, wallowing in self-pity.

*insert long, uncomfortable silence*

Ugh, singles, peeps, don’t be one of those singles.  Now, in order to help us all not be one of those singles, I have compiled a survival guide to Valentine’s Day. This is going to revolutionize your SAD (Single’s Awareness Day). Spoiler alert: sarcasm and gifs.

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Step 1: Comfort food.

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This one is practically a no-brainer. Bury your loneliness in a bag of Dove chocolates or in a carton of chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream or a frozen pizza. Or all three (I vote all three). This step is essential. Gluttonous gorging obviously helps stifle those feelings of inadequacy and ugliness. So hop in the car and shoot over to your local Comfort Food Supply and pick up your choice in of scrumptious snacks to drown your sorrows.

Step 2: Netflix.

netflix 2.gifComfort food in hand, settle in for an evening of binge-watching. This is obviously a very constructive use of your Valentine’s night as it numbs you to any sort of feeling. Of course, even better than your favorite TV show is any mildly romantic movie that will remind you of relationship bliss and your own relationship-less misery. When feelings of sadness come, just keep eating those potato chips. This is sound logic, peeps.

Step 3: Solitude.

 

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When you’re feeling lonely it is obviously best to be alone. This = perfect sense. All of your dating/engaged/married friends probably already have plans, and let’s face it, you’re (of course) the only single in your friend group. And even if you did have any single friends, they’d prefer to wallow in their singleness alone. And don’t expect an invite to anything from any of your hitched friends; Valentine’s Day is obviously the only day they can do anything remotely romantic (oops; that might have been shots fired).

Step 4: Facebook/Instagram.

Now that you’ve watched three Nicholas Sparks movies (because they are the epitome of worldly romance) and eaten an entire package of Oreos, it’s time to hit Facebook and Instagram. About this time, everyone who is in a relationship will being posting about their magical, romantic, etc. etc. night with their precious lovey-dovey. This is, of course, the time you want to be on Facebook and Instagram to catch all of their wonderful, sappy, my-bae-is-so-perfect posts. This is good for you because you will feel even more alone. (Warning: this step could prove hazardous to your computer.)

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Pop in another cookie and keep scrolling.

Step 5: Self-examination.

Now that you’re physically exhausted (oh, look, it’s 2 in the morning) and precarious emotionally, it’s time to dig into some good self-examination. Pull out the journal or maybe whip out a mirror and take stock. Obviously, this is the best time to look at yourself and figure out why exactly you have no significant other, why you haven’t found that elusive other half. After you’ve wasted a good hour (at least) loathing yourself….

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… slip off to sleep on a pillow of tears. Congratulations. You’ve survived Valentine’s Day (sort of).

Let’s drop a heart shaped bookend on this post.

How will you be spending your Valentine’s Day? Who here finds this survival guide helpful (correct answer: no one because we’re all well-adjusted adults, right?)?

P.S. – I spent too much time laughing while writing this post, and I hope it brought some chortles to peeps of all different relationship statuses.

P.P.S. – I used “obviously” too many times…. No, just kidding, you can never use that word too many times. Obviously.