1 Year, and 114 Days of Writing a Novel



It is the last day of November, our blades stuck straight in the heart of the beast of End-Year. Tomorrow it will be December–(December!) and the thing beneath our weapon will look upon us and glare.


I’m about two, or maybe three scenes from the end of this current chapter. The work is good. It’s getting better. I’m concentrating on different things than when I started.

Now I think about scenes. And characters. I don’t concentrate as much on the building blocks. In fact, the first half of the book is so…it’s not good, but it’s still polished, and perfected. I filled the cracks with copper and caulk. You could dance on those paragraphs, you could roller-skate without a bump.

But now it’s better. Now everything is fun, and dangerous, and exciting. 

Now I"m past the middle, and–not only is it easier to write things after the second act–but now I’m looking at the cracks in my writing, and pulling them farther apart. Instead of covering the ground in a polished glaze, I’m taking a pick-axe and swinging it with conviction.

So instead of attempting to make the pages look right, I’m making sure they FEEL right, before moving quickly to the next amazing scene. (Because they’re all amazing now.) There are bits of this last chapter that look like Swiss-cheese and cancer. But it’s some of the more exciting bits. I’m at the end of the book, and everything that’s happening is easier, quicker, love-drunk, and terrific.

Three more chapters to go.


I sketched out a few characters that show up in this next chapter*, and before I knew it, I had written dialog all over the page. Now it looks like a Sanskrit doodle, and I can’t wait to turn it into a page of writing.

*Normally, I don’t think you would introduce a whole handful of new people in a third act, but, and I didn’t realize this right away, I already mentioned them. in the middle of act 2. And I didn’t’ realize how important they were when I did it.

That’s one of the most amazing things about writing…when you get to the end, and everything you wrote down without knowing why becomes so important all of a sudden. As if you were a genius, or not really making it up. Like it’s happening, somewhere, someplace else, and it’s up to you to tell everyone about it.


Todd Rogers