Advice, Craft, Fun Fridays, Humor, Novel, Tips, Writing

How to make a novelist melt down in 5 minutes … or less!

Rant alert, you have been warned. As previously stated on this blog, I no longer read “how to” writing books and blogs because they are generally either contradictory or repetitive. But some of you, my blogging writer friends, are sabotaging me.

I’m almost afraid to read your posts because you might have written about the three-act structure, the novel hook, author intrusion, unbelievable plot elements, or—heaven forbid—the 10 biggest mistakes writers make. You’ve probably written a brilliant post. You’ll probably get dozens of comments thanking you for such helpful advice. You won’t get one from me.

It won’t be because I disagreed with what you wrote. It’s just that your words had a strange effect on me. I read your post with a smug smile because the problems you talked about are not in my novel. Not my perfect novel. No, no, no.

Well … but …

[eyes dart wildly, shaking commences]

What if? And what about that? Is it? Could it be? Do I even have three acts? Is that too much a coincidence? And what exactly is a hook anyway?

[assumes fetal position]

My novel is a mess. I just know it. Now that I think of it, I’m sure I made all 10 mistakes. Where on earth did I get the idea I could be a writer? I was too arrogant to use spreadsheets, or flow charts, or even index cards for Pete’s sake. I can’t blame anyone but myself. I’m just too stupid to live.

[beats head on desk]

So, dear friends, go ahead. Keep writing those evil excellent posts. And if you wonder where I am, you’ll find me sniveling in the corner, sure that somehow—somehow—you’ve read my novel and aimed those posts straight at me.

Please note: This has been a Fun Friday post. Any resemblance to actual persons or events is entirely coincidental. Really.

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29 thoughts on “How to make a novelist melt down in 5 minutes … or less!”

  1. Great post, and no, we’re not all taking turns pointing a gigantic telescope at your computer screen as you write. That would be most unfair. Say…was that cheerios you had for breakfast?


  2. New here, but you hit the right chord. So I plan to visit again 😉

    (Heck I will just subscribe first.) (Done!)

    Now then. I shudder just like you at the well-meaning advice. The what-ifs crawl up all over my piece and bam. That block . . . that somber feeling. Argh, not again!

    But yet, I throughly enjoy the how-to’s. It is like am sucking up the goodness of all the expert-stuff! 😉



    1. Welcome, Brown Eyed. I’ve seen your comments on another blog, so I expect that’s how you ended up here.

      It is a love/hate relationship with those rules, isn’t it? I’ve come to realize I’m a person who wants to know the rules, but I don’t necessarily want to follow them. 🙂

      Thank you for subscribing.


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