Have you reached the ‘Alien Face Hug Stage’ with writing your book? #writers #writing

I have nearly finished the second draft of my book.

In trying to describe how this book writing stage feels I am going to say that I feel like the host and this thing inside of me – my story – now feels like a separate entity / another being. 

It dawned on me recently that my story / book has to come out of me now. I have reached the point of no return.

I have never experienced this second draft book writing stage. Up until NaNoWriMo last year I would write 15k words and give up in a tearful, cheese induced, hallucinogenic state.

NaNoWriMo saved my writing life and gave me a first draft. Although I was eternally grateful to NaNoWriMo by the end of November I hated my first draft so much that I happily agreed to put it away for a period of time. I think I was advised to not go near it for a couple of months but I happily went six months without it seeing it darken my writing doorstep again.

In June the hatred passed. I took it out and decided to rewrite it. The lot! I have actually come to like it again on the second draft. 

My book writing experience is now starting to feel very similar to the film Alien:

  • My book is definitely like the alien in the film, it’s found a living host (me).
  • My book is pretty much giving me an alien face hug at the moment (as per photo from film). I can’t see or think about anything else anymore other than my book. I open my eyes in the morning and its there waiting for me to wake up. When I go to bed its there wishing me goodnight. It is definitely sucking the life out of me. After 1000 words I have to now take a nap. I walk around with it stuck to my head all day. It won’t go away. Stick a blonde wig on that poor person in the photo and imagine the yellowish alien is my book – that’s basically where I am currently.



  • When I finally finish writing my book (I am not naive to think that it will be finished after the second draft, I just know that it will be in a workable state) I imagine the feeling of finishing it and getting it out there will be pretty similar to the alien erupting from my chest or intestines as per the film. A combination of complete terror and wonder.

If we are really going to town with this film analogy:

  • My book is growing in strength everyday inside of me.
  • My book will eventually finish me off, the alien always kills it’s host (*nervous laugh*).
  • I see my future editor as a Sigourney Weaver / Ripley type character who will bravely fight the alien / literary monster that I have given birth to (*loud sigh followed by faraway look out of the window*)

Anyone else experienced this?

Anyone else being alien face hugged by their draft novel at the moment?



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I am a blonde writer of romantic comedy fiction.

55 thoughts on “Have you reached the ‘Alien Face Hug Stage’ with writing your book? #writers #writing

  1. Oh gosh! Ascension Graveyard has been Alien-face-hugging me since June 2014! I don’t know if smiling about this is a good thing even though I am. sigh…I, like you have come to appreciate at the story, even though others have been pushing about in my imagination. Obviously these “host” are rude and have no care for other host being present 😛

  2. I gave up on the one that was face-hugging me and wrote a completely different book, which I don’t hate. I will publish it on September 18 through KDP and CreateSpace, and then maybe I’ll look at the other one again, and maybe I won’t. Life’s too short to waste time on alien face-hugging books. Get thee behind me, Satan!

  3. I am just past the alien face-hug stage, am at the end of the fourth draft, and feeling about halfway through with the drafting process. I read somewhere Donna Tartt completely re-writes throughout her drafts (probably why her books are years many apart, but great), I did that too for my second, and I think for some people it does make a much more workable next draft. I think the next few drafts, now the alien has gone from my face, is about arming myself and preparing to meet the one that’s going to come bursting out of my stomach.

  4. fortunately I generally have a pretty positive relationship with the books that take over my life until I finish them. They become like another child, or similar… Consuming, but not frightening. But then, my genre is pretty friendly.

  5. Ah yes, I know this feeling, and I love it. The momentum keeps building, and the closer you get to finishing, the more time you want to spend on it. It’s my favorite part of the novel-writing process. Enjoy!

  6. Yes! I went through a similar experience last year. I spent a year full-time writing and re-writing a WIP that sucked the life out of me. When I was finished, I had one of my first bouts of true writers fatigue. But in the end, being drained and getting a little time away from my WIP was just the thing I needed to fill my creative well again. Hang in there! And thanks for the post, it made me chuckle with sympathy writers pain! 😉

  7. Ha ha. What a great analogy. I can totally relate. The first draft for me is that ugly bulge pushing on the chest to get out. After that it has a life of it’s own and it’s a wrestling match.

    1. Yes that’s exactly it D Wallace Peach. I didn’t think other writers would understand my analogy but have been surprised. You describe the first draft beautifully!

  8. What a great journey. I too have recently taken to rewriting my first draft. I found I needed to change the story in its entirety. What is coming out of me now is much better than the first. I love how you described your book as another entity. It is much like giving birth to our thoughts and stories. Best of luck to you! ❤

  9. I think every draft feels like an alien face hug. Every draft I feel consumed by the book and carry it around with me, constantly thinking about it. Congrats on getting this far, good luck in tackling the rest.

  10. Well there’s a visual I didn’t need… things bursting out of peoples chests… shudder….

    But yes. No, I haven’t managed to get to 2nd draft status of a novel, but I have a short story. Can’t say that it felt like it was bursting from me, more of a gentle process I think. Like petals opening on a flower. 🙂

      1. Yeah, I’m not sure where my mind was when I compared to to a flower. I think I was hungry. I’ll blame that. 🙂

  11. LOL, oh my goodness, that visual! Haha, love it! Am I being face hugged by my book? Hmm, it’s something I hadn’t thought of, but now I wonder if it really is, slowly hugging and consuming me, an unborn baby alien inside that’s screaming to get out.

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