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How to Write a Novel in Six Months: Week 12 Drafting Update

Updated on October 7, 2008

This week marked a major milestone in the drafting of my novel. I got to 100 pages! With that I made it through the beginning of the novel to the first major turning point, the point of no return, crossing the threshold, or whatever you want to call it. It felt good!

Rearranging Scenes The further I get along this path the more I value the plotting process. I wish I’d done more of it upfront, but there’s still time to stop where I am and think through more plot points. It really does make life a whole lot easier. This week once I was finished drafting all the sections of the beginning of the novel, I wrote them all down – longhand in my notebook. I read through what I had and made some notes about things that had to happen in between and things that were out of place as they were written. Then I went through my 100 pages!!! and moved things around. It was pretty painless.

The more I thought about motivation, the easier it was for me to see where things logically had to fall. Outlining individual sections is very helpful because a character’s weak motivation becomes obvious before you waste a lot of time writing about something that’s illogical or doesn’t move the story forward.

Trouble With Transitions I realized this week I have a lot of trouble fitting everything in. While I feel good about the scenes I’m writing, the in between stuff is getting me. Specifically:

  • manipulating time, especially when a character is reacting emotionally
  • layering in the details of daily life without bogging down the story
  • weaving together the subplots

More Feedback The timing to submit something to my writing critique groups couldn’t have been better. I’m due to be critiqued this week so I sent them my first ten pages along with the last scene of the beginning. (I included a note about everything that happens in between.) I also gave them specific areas I wanted feedback in including:

  • if the beginning seems like a good place to start and if it feels like a beginning
  • whether or not the protagonist is likeable in the beginning
  • whether or not the antagonist is likeable in the beginning
  • if the sequence of events is making sense so far
  • if it’s funny

How to Write a Novel in Six Months, One Writer’s Journey Week 1, Mapping Out the Six Month Plan Week 2, Resources on Structure Week 3, Index Cards Are My Friends Week 4, Sketching Characters Week 5, Researching Agents Week 6, Outlining Week 7, Detail Scene Beats Week 8, Writing the Synopsis Week 9, Drafting Update Week 10 Drafting Update Week 11 Drafting Update

Photo: nuanc,Flickr
Photo: nuanc,Flickr


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  • Bbudoyono profile image

    Bbudoyono 8 years ago

    Thank you very much for writing this great hubs. I will try this. I write a novel now. May I consult you sometimes ?

  • entertaininstyle profile image

    entertaininstyle 9 years ago from Southern California

    Thanks for the great information. Writing a book seems so daunting but you have laid out your steps so others could easily follow with their own writing.

  • Lela Davidson profile image

    Lela Davidson 9 years ago from Bentonville, Arkansas

    Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I think that's part of what keeps me going. I know I have to report back here! You all could do the same. It's simply a matter of deciding. And writing. Lots and lots of writing!

  • childcen profile image

    childcen 9 years ago from New Zealand

    I wish i could write a novel just like you do. Never thought of doing that myself but its always good to know how - if ever i've got a chance to embark on this route. thanks for the great info.

  • Earth Angel profile image

    Earth Angel 9 years ago

    You go girl!!

    How wonderful to see you are still at it Lela!!

    I should be so disciplined!!

    GREAT series of Hubs!!

    Thank you for sharing!!

    Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

  • Bryan Robertson profile image

    Bryan Robertson 9 years ago from Tennessee, United States

    I have enjoyed this series! Keep going - I can't wait to read the ending! (grin) As a person who has written for fun for years and always planned on writing "the novel" it is interesting (and perhaps inspiring) to see someone actually going through the steps. Thanks for the great information.