Do you remember those old commercials about “There’s no wrong way to eat a Reese’s?” I was going to say that the same can be applied to writing: There’s no wrong way to write a novel. Except that there probably are wrong ways of going about the process, if the novel never actually gets written. I suppose it’s more accurate to say there’s no right way to write a novel– or rather, there’s no single right way.
I can’t tell you how to write a novel. I doubt anyone can. That’s not to trivialize the potential of books or blog posts about the writing process (obviously, since I’m writing one of them!) to help you. Books and articles can offer you incredible insights and advice on how to craft your story and make it the best that it can be. But at the end of the day, really all any writer can tell you is how they write a novel, not necessarily what might work for you. I’d even take it further and say that all I really know about writing is how I’m writing this novel, whichever one I happen to be working on right now. Because although my writing process does have some general more-or-less constants, 20 books into my writing career, it’s also true to say that each one of my books has been a different journey, requiring a different playbook and set of rules.