The 23 stages of writing a novel, as demonstrated by Shia LaBeouf

I did it. I finished my novel manuscript (insert tears here). It was really, really difficult and really, really fun. And I finished it.

So to give you an idea of how this process went, here are the stages of writing a novel – with the help of Shia LaBeouf gifs, of course.

1. First, you have an idea.

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It’s like a light bulb goes off in your brain. You get really excited.

2. So you start writing, and the words are flowing. You’re feeling confident, invincible.

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You’re the guy punching the air in the background.

3. Your pace starts to slow down.

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You’re a little tired. You’re not quite sure what should happen next.

4. You reread that last thing you wrote and wonder what you were thinking.

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It’s bad, really bad.

5. You don’t know what to write next.

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Your novel has taken a different turn than you were planning, and you don’t know what to do. Also, how do you make your characters actually interesting?

6. You want to cry.

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You just want to cry.

7. You come up with an ending you like, and it kind of works.

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Okay, you have a first draft.

8. Then, the editing starts.

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You reread the first page and laugh at how young, how innocent you were back then. You also laugh because it’s really bad.

9. More editing.

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You rewrite basically every single sentence you had before.

10. Edddiiitttttiiiinnnngggg

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Oh, you thought it was over? How cute.

11. You hate your novel.

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You also think you are a terrible writer. And you want to delete everything you’ve written.

12. You decide to work on your positive thinking.

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You need a better attitude, ma’am.

13. You find one stellar sentence that you love. It stays.

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This sentence gives you a renewed confidence. You can go on.

14. Editing starts to flow better.

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You see the problems, you fix the problems. You feel unstoppable.

15. But then this one chapter does, in fact, stop you.

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You want to cry some more.

16. You get in the zone.

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This consists of staying up till 4 AM every night and sleeping during the day, because you always hit a groove around 2 AM. You also do not do any of your college homework during this time. You are GOING to finish this book.

17. Remember that one sentence you loved? You delete it.

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It just doesn’t fit anymore. You also delete a million other sentences you spent hours on a couple weeks ago.

18. You read through your story one more time. You really are almost done.

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You find hundreds of other things to change, but you’re getting there. You can feel it.

19. Finally, you finish.

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Tears, laughter, tears, cake, chocolate, tears.

20. You watch Ever After: A Cinderella Story with Drew Berrymore at 1 AM to celebrate.

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Highly recommended, if you’ve never seen it.

21. You’re not sure if you really are done.

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You keep thinking about this one part you’re not sure you changed enough. You go back and fix a couple more things, and then you put your computer away.

This is you telling yourself to calm down. You really are done.

22. You start thinking about querying.

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And you actually feel like you have something awesome to send out. This is a good feeling.

23. And then you start brainstorming that other novel you’ve been dying to spend more time on.

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And we know where that’s going…

 

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