Don’t Paint Your Walls Before You Finish The Roof by Heather Novak

Many authors, including myself, like to get hung up on one chapter, one paragraph, even one sentence before the book is done. 

Here is the best advice I have: build your story like you would a house.

1) You need to have a blueprint down before you start building. You are not going to (should not, anyway) just randomly start putting up walls on a plot of land. Your first draft is your blueprint. Don’t read what you wrote the day before (make notes every time you stop), don’t stop writing until its’s done. Finish the blueprint.

2) Once your blueprint is finished, build your structure. After a nice long break, read through the manuscript and make notes of things you need to add or change. Don’t get bogged down in how many times you use the word “feeling” yet. Just make a note to fix it later. Really concentrate on making sure each chapter idea helps the story move forward.

3) Now that your structure is up, start doing the cosmetic work, like your tile and drywall. Really flesh out those short chapters and your get characters in the right place at right (or possibly wrong?) time. Again, don’t worry so much about how pretty the sentences are yet. Just worry about making sure your characters are three dimensional, that they can think about more than one thing, that they have believable relationships with other people, and that their actions move the story forward.

4) Now it’s time to decorate. Go through each chapter, then each paragraph, and then each sentence. By now, you know your story and your characters like the back of your hand. You know what size couch you need and what color paint you need. You can adjust dialogue to match each character’s personalities, make sure you stop telling us what the character is feeling and show us, and make sure you don’t have the same word sixteen times in one paragraph.

5) Final inspection. Now, it’s time to really appreciate all your hard work. Go through the book and enjoy everything you’ve done to build this masterpiece.

Everyone is going to constantly tell you how to write your book, and you have to figure out the best way for you. But trust me on this piece of advice: Don’t paint your walls until your roof is done. 


One this day in 1793 – The department heads of the U.S. government met with U.S. President Washington for the first Cabinet meeting on U.S.record.

Wishing You Laughter & Good Books,BannerWithInfo_ForWeb
Heather Novak
Find me at:
Twitter: authorheathern
Instagram: authorheathern
Facebook: authorheathernovak

Hunting Witch Hazel: Spring 2016
Threat of Raine: Spring 2016
Rosemary for Remembrance: Spring 2016


About Heather Novak, Author

Bold, Breathtaking, Badass Romance. When she’s not pretending to be a rock star with purple hair, Heather Novak is crafting romance novels to make you swoon! After her rare disease tried to kill her, Heather mutated into a superhero whose greatest power is writing romance that you can’t put down. When she’s not obsessively reading or writing, Heather is trying to save the world like her late mama taught her. Heather lives in the coolest city in the world, Detroit, Michigan, with her very own Prince Charming. (He even does dishes.)
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