1. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    How fast do you write?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Onoria Westhrop, Jan 5, 2007.

    I want to write a novel to enter into a contest by the end of the month. I've managed about 45,000 words in the last two weeks - quality aside....

    My question to everyone is, "How fast do you write?"

    Or, "How long would it take you to write a 100,000 word novel?" (Which I gather is the min. length involved in commercial fiction.)
     
  2. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    A long time. Well over a month. I'd need to plan it. Plus Im never happy with what I write.
     
  3. Robert
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    I think you need to look into fiction length more. I would say the minimum length in commercial fiction is somewhat lower than 100k. It will vary between publishers and genre.

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  4. Hellbent
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    Hellbent Senior Member

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    It took me about 1 1/2 years to write 240 pages...and then it got deleted. It was a good day- I was psyched.

    Of course that wasn't a commited year and a half. I certainly didn't write every day.

    I don't write much anymore.
     
  5. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    I have looked - most agents seem to regard 90k to 200k as novel length. Obviously there are exceptions; Camus The Outsider weighs in at a featherweight of about 50k, Robert Jordans wheel of time must be in the millions by now. I don't think length and quality correlate at all. Just the industry standard. Except for "Gossip girl novels" and the other soft-porn-or-chocolate-celeb-biog bits of garbage for the dumbed down generation.
     
  6. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Do you think you can write a quality novel in a month?
     
  7. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    No. But I don't think that I can write a quality novel with ten years in a trappist monastery, locked in my cll with my laptop.
    The deadline for the contest is at the end of the month. I've written about 45k in the last two weeks, so if I push hard I can make the numbers. Will it be any good? Probably not. But then, it's that or kill the OmegaK monster in FF12 - and after killing Yazmat, I've decided that I don't want to touch the PS2 for a while...
     
  8. Frost
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    Frost Contributing Member

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    Fair enough. Personally, I dont think I could write a novel of any degree in a month, and then submit it. It's simply beyond my writing limitations. But if you can do it, kudo's to you :)
     
  9. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Well, how long would it take you to put down 10k?

    I mean, your going to proof read it and edit it, throw drafts out and what have you, so you will probably have to write twice or three times more words to get a fair draft.
    I read tons of stuff in the novel section, and I wondered how quickly people wrote it.
     
  10. Ferret
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    Ferret Contributing Member

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    I can get a rough drfat finished pretty fast..and I'll hate it, every singal word. The actual editing takes three times aslong as the rought draft with me....I suppose thats normal...
    All I can say is thank God for MS spell check...
     
  11. Robert
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    Robert Banned

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    Most agents? Are you saying you've checked most agents, or do you just mean most of the agents that you checked?

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  12. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    I mean most agents that I checked. To be more specific, those agents were largely limited to the UK and those in America that accept online submissions. Obviously as a geographical and temporal basis for a survey it's not a 100 percent. I should say that I looked at the submission guidlines for about 40 agencies. Not cast iron, but neither are tv. ratings or street polls.
    It would be v. difficult for me to prove this as a rule, whereas only one or two counterexamples from you would suffice to prove your point. So, if you could find me an agency or publisher that defines a novel as substantially less, then I would be more than willing to eat my hat on the matter.
    I would say that the undiscoverd authors contest I linked defines min. novel length for fiction works as 90,000 words.
    Prove me wrong.
     
  13. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Oh, and that excludes childrens books, picture books and the like. I don't write that kind of stuff, so I didn't check the submission guides for it.
     
  14. Robert
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    Thanks for coming back to clarify, Onoria. It's not my intention to make you eat hats ;)

    Cheers,
    Rob
     
  15. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    You still haven't answered, hombre. How fast are your guns, cowboy?
     
  16. Domoviye
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    Domoviye Contributing Member

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    I can write between one and two thousand words an hour. Not counting editing which takes at least another hour. I usually spend three hours actually writing, not counting breaks, work, or severe writers block.
    If I was writing on a deadline, but still had school/work, I'd probably increase that time to four hours.

    So lets say 1000 words an hour, four hours a day. It would take me about 25 days to write up a novel, if the ideas kept flowing.
    But I don't think I'd want to try. My brain would rebel on me, if I kept up that pace, for that long.

    You might be able to do it. But unless you just want to challenge yourself I'd say wait until the next contest comes around.
     
  17. HellOnEarth
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    HellOnEarth Banned

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    I thought it was all about the quality, not the quantity.
     
  18. Fantasy of You
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    Fantasy of You Banned

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    I thought it was all about the quality, not the quantity.

    I don't believe Onoria asked how long it takes to write 100,000 words of crap, HOE.
     
  19. HellOnEarth
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    HellOnEarth Banned

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    I think you should read my post again, carefully this time, and not call me a whore.
     
  20. ariella
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    ariella Contributing Member

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    Yeah and I don't think it is very appropriate for you to be flamming people either.

    Really is no need for it. Grow up.
     
  21. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    "I can write better than anyone who can write faster, and I can write faster than anyone who can write better."
    A.J.Liebling.

    Let's keep everything civilized folks - abuse is fine by pm. At least that way I know it's personal - anything else is just for the vanity of display.
     
  22. Peter
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    Peter Member

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    HOE, I don't think she was calling you a whore. All she seems to have done is writnte the sentence using standard punctuation. That's all.

    All right, HellOnEarth.
    All right, HOE.

    You see?


    Wow, that is a lot.


    Anyways, I write about one thousand words over four hours, which is around two pages of Microsoft Words. But that's only after I perfect the opening paragraph/s. I spend a lot of time on the opening, getting the pace and voice just right. This usually takes a couple of days, but sometimes about two weeks. But after that, it's plain sailing.
     
  23. ariella
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    Please accept my sincere apology.
     
  24. SeaBreeze
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    SeaBreeze Banned

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    I'll go through stages of writing heaps then not writing, it was better when I didn't have a job, but now that I do, it's harder for me to write, it's even harder now that I have a boyfriend and half a gazzilion things to do, but if I can, I write. I don't know how fast, but fast enough when I get going. Then I realise that I hated what I have written then start again. I swear that I have a hundred books taht have not been finished but had the same idea!
     
  25. Onoria Westhrop
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    Onoria Westhrop Contributing Member

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    Yeah - I feel you on everything you're saying. I'm trying to push myself just to finish something, no matter how bad it turns out to be. I can edit a manuscript - a hundred 1st chapters are no use to anyone. I've just broke the 50k word barrier, and it's hard to keep pushing on, having faith in the project when there is no one else to do so with me. But I just keep tapping the keys and writting the ideas in my journal when I can't sleep at night.
     

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