1. StormWarrior
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    StormWarrior Member

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    How long did it take you

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by StormWarrior, Aug 10, 2008.

    To write your novel? Once you had already thought up the idea in your head, how long did it take you to get the first draft totally written? And how much time per day did you devote to it? And how many words is it?
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I'll let you know when I finish. :)
     
  3. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I've written so many things, I could never give a straight answer...

    A few novels of mine took years, because I wrote them only when I felt like it and I didn't plan them out. That was quite a while back. They're going to be redone, but aside from that, I don't tend to do "drafts." I just redo something if some years have passed and my style has significantly changed and I feel I can do it better now.

    One novel I wrote in about two months because I did a lot of outlining and plotting ahead of time, and I wrote a specific amount each day. I can't recall how much, I think a scene a day, which of course varied. That's the quickest I ever wrote a novel BUT, I don't know how long all the researching and plotting took--surely longer--and it too needs to be redone.

    Now I don't plot things out ahead of time anymore because it's too stifling, so my stories take longer to get done, but I find it more interesting. I don't write novels so much anymore as very long serials. The first two took about two years each (110 chapters and 139 chapters, the first was over 300,000 words and I think the second was over 600,000); the current one has been in progress for over three years now, is at 179 parts and over 700,000 words so far I think.

    I can't say how long it takes from the moment an idea is thought up to execution because honestly, I mull over my ideas for quite a while before writing them. I tend to do this while working on a previous story in the series. For example, while working on my first serial, I spent maybe a year thinking about the second. Then while working on the second I spent maybe a year or more thinking about the third. Now that I'm working on the third, I'm thinking about the fourth all the time. I don't take note of how long I mull over an idea because I think about my writing all the time; it's just something natural to me.

    How much time a day, more like how much writing a day. One can spend four hours a day "writing" when in fact they wrote for only ten minutes out of those four hours so I focus instead on an amount, not a time. I said in another post here today I think that I try to get about 10kb written a day, but that's relatively recent; I used to write every day until I got tired of it, and before that, I used to write just when I felt like it, which was sporadic. So the amount of time devoted per day to each story of mine is widely different. At the moment, I try to devote 10kb a day (though I'm stuck on a plot point right now so have been slacking).

    My four novels were around 50-70,000 words each, I think, but rewritten they'll be longer. I already gave the word counts for my serials; the current 700,000-word one will likely end up significantly longer since it's not done yet. And before anyone decides to ask, "But isn't that too long for a novel, Tehuti...?"--I write serials that I post to the Web, not novels for professional publication. They're too long for published novels, yes, but for my stories the lengths are just right. I'm not seeking publication but I definitely try to work hard and improve.
     
  4. Etan Isar
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    Etan Isar Contributing Member Contributor

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    The first novel first draft I ever finished took six months, but that was only at a pace of an hour of work a day on average.
     
  5. Nilfiry
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    Nilfiry Contributing Member

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    There are alot of variables that affects how long my novels take such as, mood, ideas, other businesss, etc, but I'll say when I finish the current project. Its been nearly 4 years now since I got the idea and started working on the current project. The project consists of 3 novels which are sufficient as stand-alones, but are related as history of the same continent they take place in. I do try to spend at least 1 hour a day working on them, but things do happen so the novels are still in initial draft with barely 100,000 words each. I can't say I'll finish them anytime soon really.
     
  6. NaCl
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    NaCl Contributing Member Contributor

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    First draft took about six months. 140,000+ words

    Multiple editing . . . another six months.

    Final edit (after getting it back from a professional copy editor) about a month. I reviewed ever correction suggested by the CE and incorporated about 75% of them. I felt the other 25% were good indicators that the story line in that section needed a complete re-write instead of a quick fix. Hence, a whole month to incorporate the editor's suggestions.

    Final book paperback, 512 pages, 4 1/4" x 7 1/2", 130,000 words

    Book 2 - Palace Dawgs

    Manuscript is approaching 100,000 words in 22 chapters. It took 6 months to write and is about 50% done on the first re-write. I hope to have it completed and to the copy editor before the end of this year.
     
  7. Scribe Rewan
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    Scribe Rewan Contributing Member

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    Erm I'm not sure about first draft. My novel is 127,000 words, and I'm just down to nitpicking, and it's soon to go off to agents to see if anyone picks it up. From first draft (which was interestingly a different plot) right through to now has taken about 5 years.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    took about a year, from first notes to submission draft...
     
  9. ParanormalWriter
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    ParanormalWriter Contributing Member

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    The first full length novel I ever finished was a fantasy novel called Bow of Legend. It took me a year to write the first draft, and then it needed major reworking. It was also a whopper of a tome at 240,000 words. I later cut it into two books.

    Since then I've gotten much faster, but then I also write much shorter novels. My record for a first draft is six days for a 50,000 page novel. I'm ashamed to admit that, because it was a ridiculously short amount of time to try and write a story in; I probably won't try it again. It left a lot of junk for me to go back through and rework.

    Having said that, apparently I haven't learned much of a lesson, because I'm a couple chapters away from the end of another novel, which, at 60,000 words has taken me about a month to get down. I don't like to think of the editing that lies ahead.

    The reason for all the rushing this summer is that I start into my third semester of college on the 20th, and I've been racing to get as much as possible done before then. During the school year, my writing suffers pretty badly.
     
  10. SonnehLee
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    SonnehLee Contributing Member Contributor

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    Just finished my first draft: 10 months. the novel only spanned eight months...

    Now, I'm working up the plot for my second, while editing the first.
     
  11. zorell
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    zorell Contributing Member

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    I wrote a novel, Revelations, it took me two years to handwrite a total of 25 pages, front and back in an 8x10 spiral notebook.

    unfortunately, I lost the draft during the typing process and will never know how long it will take the novel to be presentable:(
     
  12. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    how long?

    my first initial draft two months, the second draft another 2-3 months. Working on editing, copy/pasting into a final file, then I'll make a hard copy and go through and make it right by reading it.




     
  13. inkslinger
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    inkslinger Contributing Member

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    I don't know, I just started, lol. It's probably going to take me a long time with the way things are going. I've been working on it for about 5 days and I only have 2 pages written, and I'm dissatisfied with them. I would like to have it finished within about a year, but who knows.... I'm going to be busier than ever these upcoming months, with a lot of "real life" stuff, so it's probably going to be much longer than that.
     
  14. draciaveil
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    draciaveil Member

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    The book I'm working on now took me 9 months to write, but it's just 110k long. The revision has been going on for 5 months, though, and I'm only 1/4 of the way done with it. I attribute that to the fact that I was going through the slow demise of a long-term relationship during those months :(
     
  15. TwinPanther13
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    TwinPanther13 Contributing Member

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    For me I hate to say it took six months from start to finish. and that was only 17, 000 words. I was working two jobs and did not get much help from girl. Some days I had to take them to the library with me cause she was doing her stuff on our PC.

    Now that I got a new job that pays better I am hoping to start finishing more stuff soon. I have a lot of I deas written down. I was thinking about the Joker today and cards in a deck and got an idea for a story from the Jack and the Ace.
     
  16. penhobby
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    penhobby Contributing Member

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    First book-- First draft took 4 months to write. It was 96,000 words. My books range from 80,000 to 100,000+ words.
    editing for the first book took 2 months and 4 days.

    There was no long conception of the idea. I sat down and started writing and it came to me.

    I spend at least 4 hours writing in the evening, and I do this every day. If I get bored with what I'm working on, I move to another 'work in progress.'
     

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