1. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    How hard of a worker are you?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by JayClassical, Feb 11, 2013.

    Whats the shortest amount of time on deadline or not that you've pump out a full novel.
    List your time and the size of the book.
     
  2. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Short time does not necessarily equate to hardest work. It can also signify sloppy work, as research, composition, editing and polishing are all painstaking activities. My current project has been under development for several years, since I had a lot of background information to acquire, then specific research to do, and finally the writing. Since it is a historical, even now, the writing gets interrupted for fact checking and re-checking.
     
  3. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Yeah, time spent has nothing to do with work involved. Definitely has nothing to do with quality. Some writers will spend a few weeks writing and come out with a tremendous book; others will take years and have drivel. And vice versa.
     
  4. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    All the above said, I always like to give 100% into everything I do.
     
  5. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    The OP's question is flawed. Anybody can churn out 80,000 words of crap as fast as they can type, but that doesn't mean they're a hard worker. It took James Joyce seven years to write Ulysses, and seventeen to write Finnegans Wake. He wasn't slacking off; he was writing classics.
     
  6. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    How can you measure the amount of work that goes into a novel? Serious writers know their novels better than they know themselves. You cannot break it down into mere numbers. You have no scale, no time frame, just a vague ambiguity, having said this, how can you even attempt to grasp the amount of work other writers have done? I am a writer, not a yardstick.

    Excuse me if I find this an asinine question...I know what work is, by its very definition, and for me, that is not my writing.
     
  7. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    No one has given a honest answer. I did not include a concrete scale to measure it by because obviously that would be futile its just an open discussion. Theres no need to become self conscience with the question. When you finish a project I should hope you put 100% into it else why would you bother writing in the first place. Remember its not a contest just a open conversation so give an honest relaxed answer (if you want). For instance Ed said his historical piece is always constant research which takes longer of course because of the nature of the project. Thats what i am interested in the diverseness in answers , His progress from start to finished because of the genre he picked and other things. I'm sorry I should not have made my post so robotic.

    This is going to be a boring thread if everyone just says time spent does not equate hard work or quality.

    For me unfortunately I have not completed a piece of work yet that I've been satisfied enough with to say "its finished". I can estimate how long it would take me though. Loooooong :)
     
  8. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I've written a novel draft in about two weeks. However, it's not publication ready by any stretch. So is it finished? It all depends on how much you wanna factor into the time. You can inflate or deflate your time by what you factor (or rather don't factor) into it.
     
  9. mg357
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    mg357 Active Member

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    When it comes to my writing i pour a lot of blood sweat and tears into each project that i write and i give it 100%
     
  10. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    When I work more than one hour on that, I always have a suspicion I was crazy and putted in something stupid. Its like the stuff want to suck you in and then you start to feel you can do whatever you want. But I don't think so
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    time spent on any project has nothing whatsoever to do with being a 'hard worker'... your question assumes one relates to the other, when that is simply not the case...

    one can work hard for a month-10 years on a novel, or lazily dribble one out in a month-ten years...
     
  12. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I see nothing dishonest in any of the answers above. They all strike me as quite genuine. But then, my guess is that by "honest answer" you really mean "the answer I'm seeking". And I suspect that has to do with the manner in which you asked the question.

    I'm curious as to why you asked in the first place. What are you looking for? Remembering that writing is not appropriate to time-and-motion studies, it's not clear to me what insights you hope to gain. Even by genre, there are no hard-and-fast time expectations.
     
  13. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Every answer posted is honest. Respect the writers on these boards, don't imply that we lied simply because we didn't hand you a cut and dried answer. What was pointed out was the inherent flaw in the question, itself. Reword the question and you might get a different response.
     
  14. Merkabah
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    Merkabah New Member

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    That's a question with no good answer. I am bad at writing. It could take me a long time to write up a short story that was no better than average. That doesen't mean I didn't put any effort into it.

    Same goes for anything. I could see a heavy job going slowly and wonder why. Then see a big lazy man sleeping on the job or a pipsqueek doing his best and arrive at two very different answers.
     
  15. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    Well, I have no idea what you're looking for then. You asked a question combining hard work and time spent and you got appropriate responses. If you're looking for some kind of 'standard' to determine whether or not you're taking too much time or not enough, you won't get one. I put the same amount of effort into each project I work on; some take a week or less, some take months and months.
     
  16. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    The book I'm currently working on has taken years. That's not a sign of constant writing - I've ditched the
    project several times.

    The idea came in 1999. I wrote it out and set it aside, not wanting to interrupt what I was working on. I finally
    decided to flesh it out in 2004 and wrote the first draft in four months. Didn't exactly like it - but oddly enough
    out of three drafts it's the most solid.

    I left it, came back to it in 2006 and reworked it in the first person. Didn't like the results and reworked it again. This
    time I tried to imitate Vladimir Nabokov - big mistake. I was so frustrated, I set the book aside and worked on some screenplays.
    Between the years of 2007-2012 I didn't do much work on it but personal issues helped change the direction
    of the characters, resolving some major hinderences. Had I not gone through this personal dilemma, I
    think the book could've stalled out for good.

    In the summer, I resumed work on it. After six months of lousy beginnings, I read something that helped
    me - know the mood of your character. In like three days I had a ten page first Chapter, that I am finally
    pleased with.
     
  17. Teodor Pravický
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    Teodor Pravický Senior Member

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    Writting is the emotional job, not some rocket science where you have to spend the night or you won't solve the puzzle. Its like you want to seduce good looking women. You have to be ignorant enough to look cool, but be encouraged as well.. or how to say that in English. Writing is not a bitch you might just rape
     
  18. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    28 days and 332 pages. But that's not the story I worked hardest on - it's just the one that answers your question.

    The story I've worked hardest on is my current WIP. The first draft was planned over four months and then written in nine. It reached 740 pages in total. It took me a further eighteen months of evaluating, reconstructing, further research, and planning after finishing the first draft to reach the point where I felt I was prepared to begin work on the second draft. I began work on the second draft on February 1 - you can see my progress (and my goal) in my signature.
     
  19. JayClassical
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    JayClassical Member

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    Okay.

    Ed:
    Yes, I am interested in personal answers from legit or non legit novelist on their scale of time in the different divisions process that it takes to make their book. Just a curiosity I'm not necessarily interested in the opinions of the question and if it really reflects a "hard worker". I'm interested in the lifestyle of working authors and they schedules or writing routines. I want to have a sense of how to gauge myself next to the hardest workers in the biz. I said that i did not believe anyone gave any honest answers because the posts I read had no one giving a personal answer about either a project of theirs or it's process.

    Darkkin:
    I didn't mean to disrespect anyone the question was egoless in nature. I don't see how I implied people were lying. More or less I thought their answer was on a different tangent. If you think the question needs rephrasing then fair enough but theres no need to be even mildly conflictive.

    Yoshiko and Peachalulu:
    Thank you for your posts it was concretely detailed and interesting and a good contribution to what I wanted the thread to contain.
     
  20. minstrel
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    minstrel Leader of the Insquirrelgency Staff Supporter Contributor

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    Yow! Who on this site is a "non legit novelist"?

    There are as many different writing routines as there are writers. John Steinbeck, working on the first draft of East of Eden, wrote about six hours a day. I read an interview with John Irving, who said he wrote two to three hours a day when beginning a novel, up to twelve hours a day in the middle of it, and back to three hours a day at the end. James Michener would work up to eighteen hours a day on his books (which were, admittedly, enormous). Isaac Asimov said he wrote about seventy hours a week, on the average (that's what it takes if you want to publish about 500 books).
     
  21. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Okay, fair enough. But understand that writing is a field much like that of the professional athlete - those who are most successful usually make it look easy. That can be very misleading, and in the end, irrelevant. So, the following is offered by someone almost 60 who is still looking to publish his first novel: gauge your work not by the amount of sweat or hours expended in getting it done, but in 1) the final product and 2) the standards you applied in getting there. By standards I mean did you make it the very best you knew how to make it? Did you refuse to let even the smallest error slide? Did you do the very best you could within the limits of your life and ability? Because life does hand you curve balls at times, and there isn't anything you can do about it.

    In the end, assume it will take all you have to give, and even then it might not be enough.
     
  22. Darkkin
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    Darkkin Reflection of a nobody Contributor

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    Hmm...According to these numbers I'm a major slacker...:eek: The downside of having a full time job...Darn required items: Rent, insurance, cat food...;)

    I know several simple truths: I write more than I sleep. I have entire worlds complete with histories, genealogies, maps, and languages. I spend more time with my characters than I do with actual people. I have choreographed massive battle sequences and brought fabricated realms to the brink of destruction. I have followed my protagonists through the course of the hero's journey too many times to count. I've had villains I've liked better than my MCs, who have gone onto become MCs and MCs, who have gone on to become the villains.

    But I don't have numbers to quantify my work. All I have is the finished product...The only numbers I have can be found in my signature line.

    Each project is a snowflake, singular yet similar, but none are identical. When at last they are added together, you end up with a massive drift.
     

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