How to Write a Novel

  1. Drink alone, sometimes with others.
  2. When with others, tell anyone who will listen about this great idea you have for a novel.
  3. Say you’re finally going to do it, write that novel you’re always talking about.
  4. Open Microsoft Word.
  5. Take a drink.
  6. Read Buzzfeed, watch Netflix.
  7. Stare at ceiling fan for hours.
  8. Type, “Chapter One.”
  9. See if there are any good movies playing.
  10. There aren’t.
  11. Begin writing. Whatever comes to mind. Just type. Anything.
  12. See that movie you didn’t really want to see anyway.
  13. When you get home, there are dishes in the sink. Wash them, obviously.
  14. Type, “Chapter One” again, this time in all caps. There. That looks better.
  15. Title Page. Don’t forget the title page because what’s a novel without a title?
  16. Now comes your opening line.
  17. “Once upon a time…”
  18. Don’t start your book with, “Once upon a time.”
  19. “It was the best of times…”
  20. Or that.
  21. The summary of what will be on the back of the book jacket. That’s a good place to start. Write that.
  22. Feel accomplished.
  23. Take a drink. It’s early, but you deserve it.
  24. Now. Where were we? That’s right. The book jacket synopsis. This book sounds awesome. You would definitely read it.
  25. Call up some friends for lunch. Tell them what your book is about. But make sure it’s only the friends who can’t write or are already well established in their careers. You don’t want them stealing your best-selling idea, do you?
  26. Alienate yourself from your friends for believing that they want to steal your idea. Why else would they have said, “Maybe you should get a job?”
  27. You’re feeling anxious. Maybe you should have a drink to help you focus.
  28. Okay. Chapter Two.
  29. What’s that? Oh. Right. Okay. Chapter One.
  30. Read some other books in your genre for inspiration.
  31. All those books have a dedication page. You definitely need to dedicate your book to someone. You can’t write a book without a dedication in mind. Amateur mistake. Bullet dodged.
  32. Decide who to dedicate your book to.
  33. Definitely not Samantha. 
  34. Check Samantha’s Facebook page. Just to see how she’s doing.
  35. Masturbate.
  36. Okay. For Mom and Dad. That’s a safe dedication.
  37. Chapter One, again. Remember: Type anything. Whatever comes to mind.
  38. Delete that paragraph where you typed Samantha’s name seventy-two times.
  39. There you go. It’s really happening. You’re doing it! Look at that paragraph. And another! That’s two! Three! It’s brilliant. You’re brilliant. You know, you could probably get a book deal based off your first chapter alone!
  40. Great idea. An advance! That’s just what you need to motivate you.
  41. Contact agents and publishers.
  42. While waiting for response, change dedication to, “For Mom,” because Dad never understood what it meant to be an artist.
  43. Get rejected by agents and publishers.
  44. Drink. Alone. Definitely alone.
  45. But don’t be deterred. You’re ready for chapter two now.
  46. Write “Chapter Two.”
  47. Are there any good movies playing? There aren’t.
  48. Change dedication to, “For Samantha.”
  49. Go see a movie anyway.
  50. Repeat steps 1-49 until dead or book is complete.

Congratulations. You’ve just written a novel!