My Novel Writing Process

My Novel Writing Process (1)

When I first got the idea that I wanted to write a novel, I felt overwhelmed.

I kept pushing the thought away that I could even be a writer, let alone write an entire novel. I thought to myself, who would want to read anything I have to written? But you and I both know if you have that attitude you wont get to far anyway.

When I started writing my first novel, I was 23 years old. I had been journaling and writing short stories off and on since I was about 5.

It was 2007, I started writing down my ideas for the story line. I knew it was going to be about relationships and school and that was about all I had. I kept thinking what else?Like, what was my story going to be about? Then I thought about who my main character was going to be.Then from there I wrote out some of the events I wanted to have occur and got more detailed about who my main character was and where she was from, etc. From there the wheels just really started to turn in my head.

At this point, I was using paper and pen only.

I love, love, love notebooks and journals (p.s. I make notebooks also and sell the over at Dear Alice Company). For some reason, I love the feel of paper and pen in my hands. It just feels more real to me. I am a bit obsessed with it. In the beginning, I would just keep a pad of paper on my desk at work and jot down little ideas about my story line or characters. At the end of the day I would tear off those sheets and take them home with me.

Even though I had a computer with MS Word on it, it was so super hard for me at first to just sit down at a computer and begin typing words onto this blank screen so I began writing my story in a notebook with pen. This turned into me filling up the entire 70 page single subject notebook with the first 3 chapters.

I would have loved to continue on like this, but I feared that if I kept going it was going to be entirely to hard to go back and type all of this handwritten mess. Instead I forced myself to type up what I had. From there I brought in my knowledge from past English classes and started a actual outline and kind of just filled in from there. I started like a I was writing a play and used Acts.

Yes, “Acts”!

If you’ve ever seen a playwright you have Act I, Act II, Act III and so forth and so on. I chose to divide mine into three different Acts and outline each chapter from there.

I know some writers don’t go in chronological order from the jump. I did at first, but then I hit a wall around say Chapter 5 which is the part of the beginning. I then started writing my ending chapter and working my way back and it helped me finish the rest.

Now I know many of you are like, “WOW it’s 2017 and you’re just now trying to edit and publish this thing?”


While I was writing this novel I had more than a few of life tragedies, health scares and the birth of my first child occur that have derailed me in my quest for publishing. I took breaks, had moments of why am I even doing this in the first place and time where I just let it sit for no reason at all.

Writing a novel is most definitely is a journey and not a destination! But, so is being a writer, period.

As with anything in writing or anything creative for that matter, you just have find what works for you. Disclaimer: This is only what worked for me. I am not writing a how to article just sharing my knowledge!

Do you want to write a Novel? Have you written a Novel? What was your experience?

-Nicole Alicia






Published by Nicole Alicia

Nicole Alicia is a fiction writer and blogger from Kansas City, Missouri. You can find her debut novel "Drama University" on!

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