My Novel Writing Process, As Illustrated by Fandom GIFs

1:40 PM

Being the professional writer that I am, I have a fairly consistent process that I use when beginning each new story. Obviously it wouldn't work for everyone - every writer has their own unique way of doing things - but I'm sure I'm not completely alone with some of these. So I've put together a quick guide to show you, accompanied with GIFs because who doesn't love those?

So, without further ado, here we go: 

Step 1: The idea 
Or should I say, ideas. Because there's never just one, is there? It starts with something inspired by a writing prompt, or a piece of dialogue I've heard on the street, or something I've read or watched, or just a question floating around in my head, or whatever else. Wherever it comes from, I'm just sitting there innocently when WHAM, that idea takes some kind of form and whacks me right in my unsuspecting face. 


Now I don't know about you, but my usual reaction to this is something like: 

I try to be firm, I really do. I mean, chances are I'm already working on something. I don't have time for another story taking over my life, do I. I can't do it. Nope. No way, I'm putting that idea on the shelf for now, I'll come back to it, everything will be okay - 

And yet, that idea persists. It has to be written. I have characters and a plot popping into my head without warning and OH GOSH IT HAS TO BE WRITTEN RIGHT NOW NOTHING ELSE I COULD EVER WRITE WILL BE MORE GLORIOUS THAN THIS ONE THING. 


There is no helping it. I cave and open a new document. 

Step 2: Outlining 


Because whatever I try to outline will inevitably change and I'm too lazy and excited about the idea for outlining anyway. 

Step 3: Starting the Story 

This will quickly go from 




Because right off I quickly realize that these characters have minds of their own and are not going to do anything I may have originally planned. Once again, there is nothing I can do. They are in control now. This is, they will tell me, is their story, and they will own it. 

Clearly some deaths must be organized. I'm one of those writers who takes a ridiculous amount of pleasure in choosing which characters to spare and which to, well...arrange ends for. 


So I write. Write like crazy. For a few months or so I'm totally lost in this novel, until I've become some kind of obsessed, blabbering hermit in sweatpants typing away at a laptop and crying over the feels I've created for myself that I now regret. 

By now I am: Obsessed with these characters so doing anything horrible to them hurts 


Also obsessing over my own fictional couples because aren't they just the cutest, 
And have been surprised by my characters on multiple occasions (only sometimes pleasantly) along the way. 

And then, suddenly, one day, I reach 

Step 4: THE END 



Finally, some peace and quiet, without those characters bothering me. I can rest and go back to doing sane, human things, and - 

It's about then that I remember the whole revising thing ahead of me. 



  1. This is fabulous. Everything about it(except for the fact that you can actually finish a novel…no I'm not at all jealous). I love it. And the gifs are perfect.

    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. I don't even want to talk about how much time I spent finding those gifs. xD

  2. Yes, this is perfect!!! I love it to pieces! Next time someone comes up to me and says they just don't understand what I'm going on about...I'm showing them this post.

  3. SO MUCH YES. Except I've never finished a novel either... but hey, it's still an epic post! XD

  4. Aimee, this is fabulous. You've described the process perfectly. I can't wait to read the inevitable "How I Got My Agent/Publisher" post!

    1. Thank you! Hopefully that post will happen someday :-)

  5. That last gif was so perfect I can't even. . .it was beautiful.

  6. This was purely awesome! Especially that last one. Totally my expression when I get to that stage.

    Alexa S. Winters

  7. This is perfection.
    Basically, you have my process down to a science (with added GIFs, which are awesome by the way). The only difference between you and me is that I write a bit, OUTLINE (even though it will change), and keep writing. :)


  8. This was brilliant xD I loved this, top to bottom!

  9. Omg I'm trying to write a novel and I so understand this post!! And those GIFs.....oh I literally laughed out loud lol!!! Oh! Btw, feel free to check out my blog. :)


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