Scene Changes on the Stages of Writing a Novel

Having read about a six hundred books on the craft of writing, I find that the best books tend to be those that coach you to get your butt back in the chair and your fingers on the keyboard. Gregory Frost reminds us that this happens to every writer, even those who have gone on to publishing success.

Gregory Frost’s Dark Nights of Despair (Stage 5):

At this point, that mental thing you have that tries its best to flag you when you go off course, which is called the internal editor, turns its spotlight on you instead of your work (because, of course, you’re not doing any work) and begins whispering in your ear things like “You suck.” “What in the name of Buddha made you think you could ever write?” “You’ve been faking it all these years.” “You should give up.” I believe there’s not a single writer I know who hasn’t heard that siren song at some point.

In Gregory’s post, he reference Maureen McHugh’s 8 stages of writing a novel. If you’re in need of healthy laugh before you get back to writing, check out the chart on her website.

You can spend a great deal of time wallowing in the muck. My own Dark Night has lasted about two years. Don’t let this happen to you.

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