101 Steps To Write An Infectious Novel

101 Steps To Write An Infectious Novel


We create serious and fun posts, including this one on how to deal with the pandemic by sharing 101 steps to write an infectious novel.

This is a very serious article sponsored by various world-renowned health organisations. (Not really!)

In order to deal with the current pandemic, writers will need to follow the steps outlined below.

101 Steps To Write An Infectious Novel

  1. Open your word processor.
  2. Be distracted by an article on Facebook telling you you only have three weeks to live.
  3. Work out how many words are in the average novel.
  4. Open calculator because you have lost all ability to do simple sums in your head over the last decade.
  5. Think 3800 words a day is achievable.
  6. Realise you will have to edit it.
  7. Panic. Pace. Scream at the void. Calm down.
  8. Figure out that you can probably last another week or so, if you cut yourself off from all human contact.
  9. Type “doomsday preparation” into Google. Read.
  10. Realise your mistake. Type “disaster preparation” into Google.
  11. Watch a man with a beard in Arizona named Robbie explain calmly how to ride out a disaster.
  12. Ignore or approve of his den decorations.
  13. Go shopping.
  14. Freak out and try to find a surgical mask. Lament that they have been sold out for weeks.
  15. Wear a ski mask to the store, notice that you are being followed by security.
  16. Freak out when they try to put a hand on your shoulder to stop you.
  17. Spend an hour explaining you are not crazy to the store manager.
  18. Note the empty shelves. Go home.
  19. Remember it is 2020. Order supplies online.
  20. Open word again.
  21. Freak out about Amazon’s health policies.
  22. Send increasingly hostile notes to Amazon telling them how to deal with the virus.
  23. Type “Chapter One”.
  24. Get five pages in before your doorbell rings.
  25. Establish quarantine protocol. Move to door wearing aforementioned ski mask and gloves, while holding some form of cleaning spray.
  26. Watch girl scouts flee at the sight of you.
  27. Feel a welcome sense of relief.
  28. Deal with aftermath from angered parents’ emails. Thank them for not coming in person.
  29. Finish typing for the day.
  30. Sterilise keyboard.
  31. Go watch some TV.
  32. Realise every show is a medical drama.
  33. Curse the success of House.
  34. Watch old reruns of Friends on Netflix.
  35. Think, They are so lucky, so carefree, if they only knew what was waiting for them…
  36. Pass out on couch.
  37. Screech as your door bell rings.
  38. Realise it’s morning and your stuff is here.
  39. Shout, “Leave it on the lawn and step away.”
  40. Wait until the confused deliveryman complies.
  41. Make notes of every place he touched.
  42. Break perimeter in a hazard suit. Establish which box has the disinfectant in it. Use it to sanitise everything else.
  43. Burn gloves. They can no longer be trusted.
  44. Eat a balanced diet of jerky and Twinkies as advised by Robbie.
  45. On a sugar high. Knock out 4000 words.
  46. Repeat for one week.
  47. Decide that responding to emails and answering the phone is slowing you down.
  48. Set up an automated response message pretending you are on holiday.
  49. Day 9. Get several phone calls.
  50. Ignore them.
  51. Turn off phone.
  52. Notice an email from work.
  53. Notice an email from mother.
  54. Notice you have been fired 20 000 words later.
  55. Feel surprise that your boss is still alive. Good for him.
  56. Have a heart attack at the sound of an ambulance.
  57. Peer at it until the harbinger of death has left your territory.
  58. Sign up to Robbie’s patreon for more useful tips.
  59. Leave patreon when you notice the lack of hair and proclivity for pictographic body tattoos of the other patreons.
  60. Pretend you are not home when your mother shows up.
  61. Put up a sign that says you have eloped to Spain and will not be back for weeks.
  62. Get a week of peace.
  63. Until your power is turned off.
  64. Use solar panel to charge laptop.
  65. Think about the cruel nature of existence alone in the dark.
  66. Wish you hadn’t maxed out your credit on hand sanitiser.
  67. Realise you are 70% done writing your novel.
  68. Thank God for this wonderful virus.
  69. Finish your novel in a state of peace only known by the insane and mountain goats.
  70. Achieve enlightenment, but ignore it as it is not compatible with maximising your word count.
  71. Move to the wall closest to your neighbour to steal their internet.
  72. Lean how to edit a novel.
  73. Find tips on Writers Write.
  74. Spend the sunny days frantically editing.
  75. Spend the cold nights wondering if anyone will like your book.
  76. Hope a publishing house still exists.
  77. Think that you might need to start your own with the rest of the survivors.
  78. Notice a general power outage.
  79. Know in your heart of hearts that you are the last survivor.
  80. Finish editing you final draft.
  81. Try to make it easy for the aliens who discover your body to understand.
  82. Achieve the best readability score of your life.
  83. Wonder if Robbie and his Doomsday Preppers have survived.
  84. Wonder if they read books.
  85. Wonder if they can read at all.
  86. Decide they probably don’t read European crime fiction.
  87. Rejoice as the power comes on in your neighbour’s house.
  88. Remember that Steve said he was going away for a week some time ago.
  89. Start to rethink your recent life choices.
  90. Turn on your phone.
  91. Call parents.
  92. Ask mother to pay electricity and water.
  93. Apologise to boss.
  94. Accept demotion.
  95. Shower.
  96. Remember you wrote a damn book!
  97. Send it off to publishers.
  98. Be rejected several times.
  99. Re-join society.
  100. Go over to Steve’s. Find out he’s been to China. Get virus. Self-isolate.
  101. Receive acceptance letter. Feel joy.

by Christopher Luke Dean (Self-isolating at every opportunity since 1988.)

Christopher writes and facilitates for Writers Write. Follow him on Twitter: @ChrisLukeDean

If you enjoyed this post, read:

  1. The Greatest Fictional World Builders: J.K. Rowling
  2. Light Novels, Paperbacks And Why We Need To Publish More Of Them
  3. The Greatest Fictional World Builders: Robin Hobb
  4. There’s A New Fiction Genre In Town: Isekai
  5. The Greatest Fictional World Builders: J.R.R. Tolkien
  6. The Greatest Fictional World Builders: Terry Pratchett
  7. 3 Super Sidekicks & What They Do For Your Story
  8. The 3 Best Tips For Writing Dialogue
  9. Why Writers Should Know About Monsters Before They Write a Word
  10. A Complete Glossary Of Terms For Fantasy Writers

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