The 15 Worst Things About Starting to Write a New Book


1. Starting.

2. Naming your main character.

3. Trying to remember what you named your main character 3 pages later.

4. Naming all the rest of your characters. ESPECIALLY their last names.

5. Typing too fast because you’re so excited and spelling literally every word wrong, probably.

6. Not being able to tell anyone. (If you do, they’ll ask questions, and YOU’RE NOT READY FOR THAT.)

7. Remembering how terrible you still are at writing dialogue.

8. You get like 10 pages in and realize you have NO IDEA WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

9. But it’s probably fine because you’ll basically feel like this for the next 300+ pages anyway.

10. Second-guessing yourself all of a sudden. Is your opening scene, like, super boring? Should you rewrite it? Should you start over even though you’ve barely even started??

11. Suddenly forgetting how to form coherent sentences in your chosen writing language for some reason.

12. Wanting to write the end. Starting to write the end … even though you haven’t even written the beginning. IS THIS EVEN ALLOWED?

13. Realizing you already hate one of your characters even though you’re supposed to. How are you going to put up with them for all the rest of these pages??

14. Not having a set deadline even though … having one would actually kind of help …

15. Realizing you’re in too deep now, there’s no turning back, you’re really doing this … good luck!

Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a staff writer with The Cheat Sheet, a freelance editor and writer, and a 10-time NaNoWriMo winner. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.

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14 thoughts on “The 15 Worst Things About Starting to Write a New Book

  1. So agree with the last names thing. I find it much harder to find their surnames…sometimes I have to give up and come back to it weeks later!

    1. Hank Green was just talking about how he often uses “filler” names and comes back to it so it doesn’t slow him down. There are a lot of Johnsons and Millers in my WIPs haha. :P

  2. I find it easier to create an antagonist than a protagonist…I don’t really get caught up in names. I just write down the first one that comes up. Can’t tell if this is good or bad. Then again, everyone’s process is different…

    1. Honestly, if you’re just picking a name and running with it and it’s not slowing you down, you’re better off than a lot of people. Keep doing that. :)

  3. Know the end result before you start but at the same time surprise yourself along the way. When I am writing I tend to think ten chapters ahead and delete what won’t work in my head unless I write 📝 it and it is terrible.

    1. Exactly. I always like to know the ending, but how my MCs actually get there? That’s the fun part. Sometimes. My favorite writing memories are the ones where I actually felt like my characters were making plans without me and not telling me ahead of time, haha.

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