The Varied Emotional Stages Of Writing A Book

I’ve talked about this before, and I certainly like to joke that my creative process takes a certain path, and that writing a book tends to go through a certain set of stages — and that remains true but as I write book after book (being fortunate enough to have a rather large slate of books released in a very short amount of time), I’m learning that while many of these emotional pivot points seem guaranteed, what isn’t guaranteed is the order in which they present themselves.

What follows are many of the, erm, feelings I seem to experience while writing books. I can experience these feelings week to week, day to day, even hour to hour.

(Oh, and the solution to many of these is simple: just keep writing. Get it done. Fix it in post.)

1. Everything Is Awesome

STORYTIME DANCE PARTY. Everything is fireworks and rainbows and hoverboards. Sometimes you’re writing and everything just feels good. Shit just works. It’s like a day where everyone is on time and you find money in the pocket of an old jacket and it’s lights and colors and you can smell numbers and taste dreams. You feel like, this is the best thing I’ve ever done, this is the next level, all the words are lining up like they’re supposed to. It’s high-fives and blow-jobs. It’s cosmic cunnilingus from the gods themselves.

2. Everything Is Nuclear Dogshit

Ahh, the emotion that so frequently follows the everything is awesome stage — this is the crash after a high, this is the hard landing after a flight, this is the doom volcano erupting in order to end your civilization’s Golden Age. You hit this point where nothing works. All the words taste of ash and pee. Your entire book sounds like this inside your head: BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH BUH BUH BBBBBT FZZZZ AAAAAAAAH. You’re not even sure you’re writing in your native language anymore. You seriously contemplate not only deleting the manuscript, but actually hitting your computer with a hammer so that no remnant of your awfulness may remain to poison the lovely world to which you should have never been born.

3. Everything Is Distracting

Hey, guys, Twitter is on! So is Facebook! Hey, an email. Hey, new iPhone game. Hey, the finale to last night’s Favorite Show was on. I don’t wanna miss it! Jeez, what’s the weather doing? What’s the weather doing in Chicago? Toronto? Capetown? Xibalba? How’s the moon? Is the moon good? HA HA HA look at this funny meme where they take kangaroos and dress them up as the Queen of England and then they punch children. Goddamn kangaroos, you hilarious. Ooh video games. And candy. Dopamine delights! Don’t I have some cocaine? COKE BINGE, that’ll help the writing. Jeez, what’s the weather doing? COKE BINGE PART TWO! Did I write any words today?

4. Everyone Is Bothering Me

People won’t shut up. The dog won’t stop farting in your office. A toddler is at your door and it’s not even your toddler. The trash truck is outside rattling cans and they’ve been there for — *checks watch* — 47 minutes. Car alarm. Phone calls from your mother. Overzealous helper monkey. Just as you start to gain a little momentum, something undercuts it — and then going back to the words feels like just getting going again.

5. Don’t Worry, I’m Doing Things That Feel Like Writing!

I’m researching! Worldbuilding! Outlining! Reoutlining! Re-reoutlining! I’m reading about writing! I’m reading about publishing! I’m finding celebrity photos of who should play my characters in the eventual movie! Now I’m Photoshopping them because I wanna know what Brad Pitt and Jennifer Lawrence’s children will look like (SO GOLDEN, LIKE LITTLE HUMAN OSCAR STATUETTES.) I will now take time to imagine what my book cover will look like. So photorealistic! Now I’m tweeting — I mean, “building my platform or brand or base or audience or something professional-sounding.” I’ve written nothing today! Ha ha ha *weeps*

6. The Blank Page Is A Terrifying Polar Expanse Where I Will Die

It’s a big blank page. Tabula rasa, baby. It’s biggest and emptiest on the first day of writing, though nearly any day of writing can see you confronted by a new page, devoid of words. Some writers get excited. Me? It freaks me out. It’s too big. Too white. I feel like I’m just gonna shit up this pretty snowscape with my trompy stompy dirty boots. It’s like a mountain before an avalanche. It’s like the white light of death. It’s the sheer infinity of potential. The unrefined expanse of utter possibility. And anything I do feels like ruining it.

7. Course Correction: Glue, Duct Tape, Bubble Gum, A Sextant

You realize something’s wrong. But you don’t feel like fixing it. So it’s clumsy patch job time — so you MacGuyver the story, making swift changes with the dearest hopes you can fix it in the edit. (Any beta reader would be like, “Why does the main character suddenly become a woman? And his magic talking sword just became her magic talking shotgun. Where’d that wombat come from?”) The attitude is basically: WHATEVER, FUCK IT, NO TIME TO FIX, MOVE, MOVE, MOVE.

8. I Made A Wrong Turn At Albuquerque

You realize something’s wrong. And it went wrong about 100 pages ago. Which makes the last 100 pages a miserable, meaningless wander into the wilderness. Devoid of value. Epic waste of time. You suddenly see no way forward without going back and fixing the part where your character stepped on a butterfly and ruined everything you stupid character. Behold the gut-wrenching, sphincter-clenching dread of deleting 100 pages from your manuscript. Your tears will taste of printer ink. Your mouth will taste of char.

9. Oh, Crap, None Of This Makes Sense At All

That terrible moment when you realize the entirety of your story hinges on a thing that doesn’t make any sense. It’s not a plothole so much as the hole in a well-tied plot-noose. If the character on page ten would just do the logical sensible thing and throw away the Doomed Widget of Kjarn, the entire book falls apart. You realize suddenly that everything hangs on a broken hinge, the whole conflict held fast to some kind of Escherprint logic that throws the whole tale into the fucking woodchipper. “Wait, the main character could’ve just pushed a button in the first act that would’ve solved the whole thing? OH GODDAMNIT.”

10. Old Man Lost In A Shopping Mall (aka, Me In A CD Store, Circa 1997)

You wander. Aimlessly. You’re pretty sure a plot will come along and introduce itself eventually? The characters seemed like they had motivation but nothing is really happening? The conflict seemed like a good one but now seems as tense as a damp shirt draped over a drooping clothesline. You just keep writing because that feels like what you’re supposed to do.

11. I Should Not Be A Writer And My Soul Is Forfeit

This can happen at any point. Before the day’s writing begins. At the day’s end. At the book’s end. In the middle of a fucking sentence. It’s just — wham. You hit this point where existential panic throttles the little writer that pilots you. You’re suddenly all, “I can’t do this. I am not good at this. I can’t hack it. I should not be a writer. I am not a writer.” And you start looking for an eject button or a trap-door. You hit the Select All shortcut and contemplate stabbing the delete button with an angry finger. Dread and doom and lifeless void. Breathless fear of failure, fear of success, fear of judgment. Grave uncertainty. Dry mouth. Squeaky hiss from the back of your throat. Everyone is better than me, you think. My cat would make a better writer.

12. I Wrote Four Words Today (“The Trickled Pee”)

Every word is like extracting a rotten tooth with a pair of rusty needle-nose pliers. It is a day of great effort that yields nearly no result. A rich, full fruit tree with one fucking apple dangling.

13. I Wrote Forty Thousand Words Today (“Drinking From The Firehose”)

The words won’t stop. You can’t stanch the flow.  Story geyser. You’re not sure if it’s a firehose shooting top-shelf whisk(e)y or a cannon lobbing gobbets of sewage — all you know is, by the time you’re done you’re trembling and frothy with sweat and you just wrote like, 15% of your book in one day. It’s like a fugue state meets automatic writing.

14. Picking Nits

You’re afraid to move forward and so you hover, or even drift backward, editing the work as you go. You just can’t stop messing with it — like fidgeting with a hangnail instead of letting it heal. Does it come from a lack of confidence? A fear of moving forward? An obsessive nature? No matter the origin, it undercuts momentum. Like repeatedly stopping to tie your shoes during a marathon.

15. Meh

Says it all.

16. I Love This One Line So Much

One sentence out of everything you wrote today is beautiful and powerful and impactful and it makes all of it worth it. All the doubt, all the terror, all the existential dread. One sentence, its component words shining like scattered diamonds. One line, giving you the guts to move forward without hitting delete and going downstairs to cry-eat a handful of cake.

17. It Sounded Good In My Head

Your brain is such an asshole. You had an idea. It unfolded into a book. With characters. And plots. And ideas emerging from other ideas. And then you started writing it. And now you’re like, “This is just… this is dumb as shit. It’s stu… it’s so stupid. The Muse lied. What the fuck was I thinking? Oh, god. I’ve wasted so much time on this.”

18. I Hate This Character

You know characters can be unlikable. But readers have to spend time with this character. Worse, you have to spend time with him, too. And now you despise him. He’s a wanking, preening peacock. Or a dickish dickhead who just dicks everything up. He’s precious. Or dumb. Or irritating. You just wanna punch him in his doofusy face. You’re now seriously considering killing him off at the midpoint of the novel and quietly installing a new protagonist. Goddamnit.

19. I Love This Character And Cannot Hurt Them

The character is the best. You understand her. She’s already been through Hell and suddenly you don’t want to put her through any more. You’ve lost empathy and found sympathy. You’re supposed to be throwing her into a pit with demons and yetis and ex-lovers and sharp pointy sticks and instead your greatest urge is to coddle and protect and keep her safe.

20. This Subplot Just Took Over

It’s like an invasive species, this subplot. A root that started small but now it just choked out the biggest tree in the forest without you even realizing it. You’ve created a subplot that is way more interesting than the main plot. Crap crap crap crap crap. On the one hand: yay for a compelling plot. On the other hand: boo for having to rewrite the whole story to make it work.

21. Wouldn’t It Be Cool If…

A flash of inspiration! Like a spear of light pinning your mind right to the story. Revelation and epiphany! Wouldn’t it be cool if [insert cool plot hook here, maybe something featuring orangutan spies or jetpack ladies or some kind of time-traveling pterodactyl paradox].

22. Wait, Shit, That Doesn’t Work

Your balloon animal just popped. The cool idea you just had? Won’t work. Wilting story boner. Sad trombone. Cool idea cannot justify its own existence. Back to the idea factory.

23. I Have Way Too Much / Not Enough Story 

You’re 50,000 words into the story. And you realize one of two things: a) “Hey, I’m almost done this bo… oh god I’m only 50,000 words in and the book is already done? This is supposed to be an epic fantasy!” or b) “Holy fucksocks, I’m 50k deep and I haven’t even introduced the main character yet.” You have not enough story or too much. You are feast or famine. You have underwritten or overwritten. Cue the cold saline rush of terror.

24. Everything Just Clicked

Hear that sound? It’s the sound of dominoes falling together in a neat line — it’s like the playing card in a child’s bicycle spokes. Everything clicks. Everything works. Everything makes sense. You don’t know if it’s good or right or how much you’ll have to fix but none of that matters. Because it all feels right and your march to the end of this story feels suddenly ineluctable — forward progress is now unstoppable. You can do this.

25. Apex Or Nadir

The ending. Game over, man, game over. You don’t know if it’s the height of art or the deepest pit of poo-slurry. Maybe it’s all 1s, maybe it’s all 0s. You have no perspective, but what matters is, you’re done. And finishing a story — particularly a whole novel — comes complete with a host of its own divergent emotions. Maybe you feel excited. Triumphant. Tired. Spent. Maybe you’re hungry. Are you hungry? You’re probably hungry. Maybe you’re happy it’s done. Or mad because you want more. Happy-mad. Mad-happy. Who knows? Whether everything is sheer apotheosis or just raw open ass, you did it. You’re done (for now). Walk away as the building explodes behind you. Go have a snack and a nap. Then hunker down for the edits.

* * *

135 comments

  • I often think to myself after you wrote a cool post that you are done. There can’t possibly be anything else to say. The well is dry. And here you come up with another. A few thousand hits today of writers who will read this and smirk knowingly.

  • Well done!

    What’s the word/feeling for when you’re sitting on a pile of beta feedback that all contradicts each other? “It moves too slow at first.”
    “No, wait, you can’t move on without explaining every inch of his appearance! Better give us age and blood type too!”

    And my all-time favorite, “You need more here, but… I don’t know what.”

  • I flitter through all the ups and downs, but I am currently in the throws of no 23 (the famine aspect) I have, for the first time ever, plotted my book. In doing so, I am very aware that it’s short. I assumed I would uncover alley ways that’d bulk it up a bit, but so far, have found nothing. So I’m in panic. Without any sudden deviations, I’m on course for between 50-60k. I don’t want to stifle momentum by trying to create a few more chapters, particularly as they would feel forced and unnecessary. Plus I want to finish this story, it’ll be my first completed “novel” – a big bench mark. So I trundle on, just trying to finish my shit.

  • I’m an obsessive nit picker – “tying my shoes while running a marathon” – I do it because I’m tired –

  • A combination of 17 through 20….
    Oh god’s little pink knickers, the sidekick whom I wanted to kill off is far more interesting than my protagonist. Her story is taking over this fucking novel Fuck me sideways…why didn’t I see this coming? Shit! Rewrite? Rework? Get knee walking blasted and go cuddle with a cocaine infused wombat?
    Doomed I tell you, doomed.
    Wait! Possible series?
    Opens another bottle of cheap vodka.
    Cries.

    • Yes! Yes! Yes! Who knew one person could feel so many things! It blows my mind how I can go from nuclear dog shit to everything just clicks in less than half a day.

  • 17. It sounded so good in my head. This is my nemesis, my seven year itch. Every story I write encounters this sensation. I’m trying to ignore it.

  • YES! YES! YES!

    Okay, I sound like I’m screaming a line out of ‘When Harry Met Sally’… but honestly, I’ve been through all of this and am 4 – 5 chapters off finishing my last book of ‘Fry Nelson: Bounty Hunter’ – Book 3. I can’t wait to go back through it all and re-read it; as I sat down 5 years ago, started writing and didn’t stop… I haven’t edited anything in this book… so it’s going to be me just purely editing from end to beginning (so I don’t get caught up in the story again. 😀 )

  • Well, this article came up at just the right time for me. Earlier this week (and note that it’s only Tuesday at the time of this writing…), I was all-in with #1 and everything was AWESOME!!! Whoo!

    But that was on Sunday, and a little bit of Monday. Come Tuesday morning and staring down a 40K manuscript in progress, I’m feeling knee-deep in numbers 23, 6, and 10. Ugh.

  • YES. EVERY WORD OF THIS. Especially numbers 1 – 25.

    Chuck, you describe my wiritng life perfectly. Either you know what you’re talking about, or you implanted a recorder-transmitter in my head.

    *makes appointment to have head examined*

    *scratches*

  • Oh, and the solution to many of these is simple: just keep writing. Get it done. Fix it in post.

    I struggle with that. My feeling is that I’m emotional engaged in this scene now so fix it while I understand what I’m trying to say.

    7. Course Correction: Glue, Duct Tape, Bubble Gum, A Sextant

    I’m at this stage now with my new story. The middle is muddy and not getting cleaner and turns to Oh crap, none of this makes any sense, with questions like, do I really want to a whole new sub plot because my main character suddenly decides to go off the rails. If I create the new sub plot, I know I’m making a wrong turn so why won’t he behave?

    The other 23, feels good that I’m not the only one who goes through them. Thanks for the pick me up.

  • The book was done, edited, reedited, polished, spit-shined, no wait edit it again, now polish it again, apply a coat of linseed oil to bring out the grain, shit yeah this is good, time to write a query letter and synopsis and publish this motherfucker-

    BAM. #9.

    Heart breaking. Head hurting. Lashing myself to the mast so I do not heed the siren call of #7. Ugly crying into my Dr Pepper. Re-watching GALAXY QUEST and yelling “NEVER GIVE UP. NEVER SURRENDER.”

  • They all work for me too, especially number 16. I can almost guarantee that what I think is the coolest line in the entire book will be the first line my copy editor takes out. And the thing that really pisses me off? He’s ALWAYS right.

    Cheers

    MTM

  • Thank you.
    This is a burningly solitary profession.
    I ride the seesaw, but there’s always someone on the other end, whether I know it or not.

  • I tend to get a mix of 18 and 19 called “I Don’t Care About This Character One Bit”. He’s just there, doing plotty things and not really living a life of his own. I might as well dress him in a gray suit and put a blank face mask over his OH MY GOD SLENDERMAN

  • Yes! All of these. I fight #5 each week and one of my best writer meltdowns—sitting on the patio of a restaurant talking to my wine glass—was a result from #11. I was living at #18 a few weeks ago after a workshop where participants caught wind of the telling lack of emotion on my pages. Reason? I hate the main character and cannot relate to her. Heh. And it shows. She lives in the end (needed for the story), but I sure wish I could pop her in the head on page three and take another direction. Thanks, Chuck, for another post that made me shed crazy laughing writer gal tears.

  • One thing that I can say about being a writer is that there are levels to this. When starting a new project I now make an outline. I used to not have to do that before because I was ” a boss” but now I actually am following directions :). I have experienced every stage that you mentioned here. It’s joyous and then a pain in the ass! Great post.

  • I’ve been stuck at #11 since sometime just after NaNo. Gave the book I was working on a “brief break” to take up the NaNo book, then went back and looked at book #1 and DESPISED it and everything it stood for. I was supposed to print drafts for readers in December, but it’s been hiding in my hard drive, untouched, since before I started #2…which I’m not exactly happy with right now, either. Mushy middle? How about ALMOST NONEXISTENT middle!?

  • Its spring break for the kids this week so THERE’S A LOT OF NUMBER FOUR!!! (Distracting People)Which leads to number five (Things that feel like writing), which leads to number six (Blank Page)….which leads to writing at 3am to shut the voices up. There’s still a lot of number four, but they’re now doing it while I’m trying to sleep.

    I’m gonna be the old man in the mall for another six days before I can get something decent on the page. Who wants ice cream?!?

  • This post was so right on time today. Seriously Chuck, you are going to get me through this thing.

    And I almost spit out my coffee when I read this: I’m finding celebrity photos of who should play my characters in the eventual movie!

    Go ahead and laugh, but I seriously do this. Does anyone else do this? Hahahahaa!!!! So what? It helps me to visualize my characters. No I don’t cut out paper dolls of them and build little houses and make them tromp around my desk and talk to each other – but that’s an idea! 😛

    • Yep, I do that too. Among others, Patrick Stewart is playing a major part in my current w-i-p, along with two blokes from the original ‘Stargate’ series, Harry Kim from ‘Star Trek: Voyager’ and some random old lady I found on Google images. None of them know it yet, but I’m sure once the book is finished they’ll be thrilled. ‘Specially the little old lady – she gets to do some serious swearing… 😉

      It’s actually a good way of determining certain universal traits about your characters, like social class, mannerisms, style of talking etc., since most actors tend to specialise in playing certain ‘types’ of characters on screen. So I happen to think it’s not completely wasted time – especially if the alternative is staring at a blank screen for hours, making small wailing noises as you rock back and forth in your chair…

      Everyone does that sometimes…. don’t they?

    • Nope, I do that too — my Scrivener files all have actor photos as the cork-board image for each major character.

      I figure that I’m prepping my eventual stress-breakdown when the books are optioned for film and they cast somebody else. 🙂

  • One day, the butterflies will be fed up. Tired of being stepped on; tired of being blamed for everything bad that follows. And on that day, they will morph one more time into something far more terrible, and the skies will darken with their number, and all mankind will cower in their shadow.

    Or maybe we can convince them all to become writers instead, although I honestly don’t see how they’re ever going to type or even hold a pen with those spindly little legs.

  • It is posts like these that make me feel that I am not alone in the thinking processes I go through whenever I open a WIP, or a new manuscript. Thanks Chuck!

  • This is seriously, stage by stage, play by play, what has been transpiring with my current work in progress since October. You have outlined with stunning accuracy the things that have been going through my head.

    Come to think of it, that’s a little creepy. Note to self: close the curtains and put on tinfoil hat before bed. I think Chuck Wendig is watching me write.

    Thanks for this. It helps knowing that I’m not alone in this struggle.

  • Oh my lord, I know the feeling of every single one of these – sometimes several at once. Along with:

    “Chocolate will help. Chocolate ALWAYS helps. Chocolate is the magic medicine that always unblocks my Writer’s Block and gets the cogs turning again…

    Crap, I’m gonna have to give myself Type 2 Diabetes to get this novel finished, aren’t I?”

    Thanks for the comforting words, Chuck 🙂 Perhaps today could be World Writers’ Empathy Day?

  • Chuck Wendig, you are a funny duck, an astute and witty duck and I thank you for it. I sometimes think I’m on the brink of something great/horrific. Wiggle my toes in joy; tear my hear out; cry like a baby; laugh hysterically; sit comatose in my little writing room, staring at the screen, jaw hanging open, long strands of spittle connecting my quivering chin to the keyboard.

    Am I crazy?

    Nah. I’m a writer. It’s par for the course.

  • Ooh… Lost in the Mall and finding myself too distracted by all the cool subplots (I just wrote sobplots… Freudian slip?) and wonderful distractions to find my way out…

    Yeah, done them all once or twice.

  • Oh My God! This is… This is just so me! It’s so so true. Reading this post was like looking at myself in the mirror, only I couldn’t write such a funny post about it. Thank you. You have made me laugh and made my day.

  • Yep, think I can tick all those off, LOL. It’s bizarre the way a writer can experience so many of these, and often all in one book! I’ll write what I feel is a terrific chapter, go on to write 10,000 words in a day, and then write a chapter that makes me think crap, that’s awful. Just good to know I’m not alone!

  • March 11, 2014 at 3:48 PM // Reply

    It’s nuclear dogshit and I just stepped in it. I once created a paradox and time travel had nothing to do with it, luckily I violated the rules within my own story and with a little creative writing made it work. Click.

  • LOL, perfect list. I’m currently at number 10. I’m writing in my dreams and it’s all drivel, wandering aimlessly from one poorly written snippet to another. It’s not much better right now in the daylight. All I can do is write on and hope the bad dreams end soon.

  • I meander through this list constantly. I write. It doesn’t matter what it is that I am writing. I’m a writer. I am now, as of this year, making a concerted effort to focus my writing into a novel, and what I hope will be a career that keeps me comfortable. To be clear, when I say focused I mean the way a ritalin filled squirrel in a public park full of screaming children, and sparkly jewel colored nuts is focused, as opposed to a Tibetan monk in a meditative trance kind of focus.

    Anyway, what I have found through my effort to hone my craft is that when you aren’t just chasing your muse through a shimmering, multi-colored dream ether with a golden inspiration catcher, hand woven by the magic of tree elves, this writing shit is hard… really fucking hard. I had my first experience of writing all day without any tingly feeling. I don’t mean I tried to write, and I didn’t get any tinglies, so then I went on with my day. I sat there, and wrote like I was grinding out 40 hours a week for the man. My husband came home from work, popped on the tv. I put on headphones, and kept plugging along. It was miserable.

    In the end, I put out 2500 hundred words without being in “the zone” for the first time ever. I ain’t gonna lie, this first experience of writing that was all mental taxation sans inspiration hurt my feelings. I realized this is what it means to be a writer for a living. It means working through that list over and over again, until you’re finished. All these years I’ve played in the magical forest, but never punched in for a shift. This realization was actually liberating once I talked myself out of jumping from the upstairs window. It’s a split level so I probably would have just sprained something anyways.

    I’ve been grinding out 40 a week, since age seventeen. I’m in my mid forties now. So, knowing that just sitting, and writing will produce usable words made “the dream” of writing for a living seem more accessible. I’ve always felt like I didn’t have the constant magical flow that professional writers possess. Now, I realize the magic of writing is work ethic, not tree elves. This doesn’t mean we should now round up, and eat the tree elves now that we know we don’t need them all of the time.

    A good part of my writing progress is because of stumbling on this site, and reading Wendig’s books on writing. Pulling back the curtain on the process, and removing the delicious sugary coating that makes other writing advice go down so easy is what makes Chuck’s advice an actual useful tool for writers that want to bring it to the next level.

    **I don’t know Chuck or get anything for the fawning adoration, he earned by being useful. Being useful is important.

    • I really love your post! It’s eloquent and slightly snarky, funny but real, and quite visual (the jewel-colored nuts part was my favorite 🙂 ). I believe that bodes well for your WIP.

      Also, I’m in a similar situation, with the actually-getting-serious, the writing-especially-when-not-inspired, AND even the having-to-use-headphones-to-get-a-semblance-of-privacy…things.

      So, nice job and thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • I know this place you’re at – I was there one year ago – and I’m also about your age too, so I can totally relate.

      I remember that feeling well; that “Crap-on-a-crumpet, this whole Writing a Novel Lark isn’t the rainbow-sprinkled fun-fest I thought it’d be now I’m finally taking it seriously” feeling. 😉 It’s DAAAMN HARD, and your first completed Draft One will also teach you more about writing a novel than you could ever imagine (it sure as hell taught me WHY I’d never managed to complete one before then.) Completing it should be a time of massive celebration and copious amounts of your Vice of Choice; you did something freakin’ amazing! Then comes Draft Twos and Beyond. They’re… not so easy as Draft One was. But don’t let that put you off – by then, with your completed Draft One and all you’ve learned from writing it, you will have Levelled Up and acquired all sorts of shiny new abilities (and even some +1 armour too.)

      And I too owe Chuck and his website for helping me to get to where I am. Some of us writers need to be nurtured like flowers… and others need the sharp kick up the bum. I’ve found Chuck’s words of wisdom provide both, in just the right balance.

      Kudos to you on your progress so far *high five* – and I’ll be cheering for you beyond that. 🙂

      • I look forward to moving past the first draft. Thanks for the support. I love hearing from my fellow Sisters of Our Lady of Hard Art and Sorrow, and the Church of the Immaculate Pen Monkey in the Cathedral of Chuck… In the name of the pen, the muse and the sweat of my own fucking brow, Amen **says three hail wendigs and passes the wine**

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