5 Steps to Writing a Novel

For some months now I’ve been mentoring a writer working on her first novel, through CSARN (pronounced see-sarn, short for the Canadian Senior Artists’ Resource Network). As mentor, I am getting paid and my mentee can be reimbursed for expenses.

My mentee has encountered the usual stumbling blocks that come with writing a novel. She has at times felt overwhelmed by, and has apologized for, “the mess” she’s been making. Hoping to help her proceed with her project, I offered her My 5 Steps for Writing a Novel.

writing tips
If you are crazy enough to have undertaken this kind of endeavour, I hope you’ll find My 5 Steps helpful, perhaps even offer solace in your time of need.

Now, back to my own mess.


  1. Laura Langston on January 18, 2018 at 10:48 am

    So true, Kathy! Thanks for this. It made me smile in recognition and relief. I’m not alone in creative messiness! 🙂

    • Kathy on January 18, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      You definitely are not alone! All best with your current mess!

  2. Janet Trull on January 18, 2018 at 5:13 pm

    As I was dumping all my ideas into the Amity box of my novel, the relentless thoughts cycling through my troubled mind seemed to disappear. It felt pretty good until I found extraneous characters hiding in the basement and disconnected time lines in the garage and what’s that smelly metaphor doing out in the shed?

    • Kathy on January 18, 2018 at 8:28 pm

      Sounds like you have a WONDERFUL mess happening, Janet! Write on!

  3. gabe on July 14, 2020 at 7:44 pm

    Thanks for letting me laugh at myself. It was great to meet you and Maisie at Sage Hill. All the best to you and your characters. I will follow along here.

    • Kathy on July 14, 2020 at 9:40 pm

      Glad it made you laugh, Gabe. Good to meet you too, and to share all those great Sage Hill writing chats.

  4. Jane Harris on July 23, 2020 at 3:11 pm

    Thanks for sharing this. So glad to have found your blog and met you. Now back to my mess.

    • Kathy on July 23, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      You have a fine “mess” to go back to, Jane. Happy to have met you too, and will check out your blog soon!

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