1. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    How long does it take you (on average) to write a book?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by The95Writer, May 10, 2014.

    A general question - whether its fiction or non-fiction, how long does it take you to complete the writing?
     
  2. PokeNet
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    PokeNet Member

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    It really depends on what you're talking about here. Are you referring to a novel, novella, story, etc.?
    Personally, I've only written stories thus far while I improve my skills, but it takes me about half an hour to an hour, but I'm sure it will take me longer as I progress in my writing knowledge.
     
  3. Daemantalo Nyrin
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    Daemantalo Nyrin New Member

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    Half an hour for a story!? Teach me your ways PokeNet...

    On a serious note, I have a story done with 20,000 words strong and I could honestly say it's taken me about a month-month and a half process. I'd imagine on average it would probably take 6-12 months for a full-fledged novel, depending on how you manage time for writing. As PokeNet said, however, you've got to be a little more specific. It took ten years I believe for Stephen King to write his Gunslinger, Dark Tower series. It all depends on your pace and word count. :)
     
  4. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    ????!!!
     
  5. FrankieWuh
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    FrankieWuh Active Member

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    Like above, it depends on the size of the book (though rarely an hour to half an hour!!!). Currently I've 2 books on the go. One is 80,000 words long, the other 170,000 words. I'd say to get both completed it will take me 18 months from first draft to a draft ready for a publisher to see. (Once a publisher gets their hands on them you can add another two months work for edits, copy edits etc etc.)

    For shorter works, such as novellas I'd say six weeks for three drafts, based on my last which was 20,000 words long.

    (Per hour, I average between 1500 to 2000 words - writing quality aside, I am an awesome touch-typist :D)
     
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  6. Nightstar99
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    Nightstar99 Contributing Member

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    Surely this is one of those how long is a piece of string questions? Some authors spend, or spent, years writing their books. Others knock them out in weeks.
     
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  7. PokeNet
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    PokeNet Member

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    For all you asking how I wrote a story so fast, it was the first I've ever written and after looking at it again, it's horrible. I'll be posting it in the Workshop for critique when I get 20 posts.
     
  8. LeighAnn
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    LeighAnn Member

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    I can write a novel or non-fiction book from start to finish in a month. But that doesn't count all the endless months of research or having a story rolling around in my brain perfecting itself. And it doesn't count the editing process.
     
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  9. The95Writer
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    The95Writer Active Member

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    Well, it took me 2 months to complete 22,000 word novella (my first ever book). But, my supposition is that non-fiction may take a lot longer depending on the subject, since it has been taking me 5 months to write half of my non-fiction being that a lot of research is needed.
     
  10. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    I typically write 5-7 pages (my usual chapter length) per day, which includes research, editing, revising, etc. Add a couple days wait per chapter for betas and subsequent polishing. So for an average length novel, a little over 2 months, start to finish.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    'complete a book' can mean get to the end of a first draft, or that plus all the edits it takes to have a polished draft ready to be submitted...

    so what is it you're asking about, and referring to in re your own books, 95?
     
  12. sunsplash
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    sunsplash Bona fide beach bum

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    I'm the tortoise in the race when it comes to writing! It's something I have to squeeze into "me" time, which is few and far between since I have trouble making myself a priority. I have yet to write a novel and have been working on a memoir for a year and a half, with lots of breaks and sometimes scrapping altogether and starting from scratch, which I'm tempted to do again. I just can't get in a groove that I'm happy with, probably because what I'm writing about is still kind of ongoing. Anyway, for me this has been way harder than regular creative writing. In my favorite genre, children's (early reader mostly, some young chapter), I can do a story in a day but usually span it over at least a week or two polishing. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo in April and successfully met my word count of only 15,000 in a flippin' month (and I struggled :oops:) but the story is nowhere near "finished" and what I have is very rough. I expect that could actually be turned into something near and possibly over 50k, but in regard to a time frame, who know's. I used to be able to churn out 3k words a day...someday I'll get back there again. :cool:
     
  13. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    My first real work (94,000 words) has taken me almost 9 months from conception to editing processes, where I am now. But I write a lot. Every day when I get back from school at 2:30 PM I sat down and wrote until 9:00 PM and I did this for 6 months.
     
  14. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    I completed the first draft of my current project - a historical novel - in 21 months, but that doesn't include research (which was spread out over several years) nor editing and preparation to submit for publication, but does include several breaks for additional research and verification.
     
  15. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Anything historical is going to take significantly longer than works like mine which came from pure imagination.
     
  16. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Sample size of one: 3 years, I'm close enough now to make an accurate prediction.
     
  17. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I wrote the fairly complete 134,000 word duology out in about 2 months. 2.5 years later I'm close (within months, not days) to finishing the first book.

    Don't be discouraged.:write:
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Two to four years, depending on the complexity of the project. However, sometimes I leave the final touches for a long while and start a different project, and come back to editing half way through that. About one to two years of intense writing, and the rest goes first on planning and research, then on editing.

    Having said that, I noticed I'm becoming faster with time (I'm only on my fourth book, and this will be the first one I'll seriously attempt to traditionally publish) so hopefully I'll soon reach my goal of being able to churn out one book every couple of years.
     
  19. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Oh jeez so I'm going too fast with my six month writing time?
     
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  20. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    I've done a few novels. So far they'll never see the light of day because they're not up to my standards ( or anyone elses - :rolleyes: ). My first novel I ever wrote was back when I was a young teen about 14?. I'm not good with dates. It took me over 2 years? and at the end was over 3,000 pages long, had 52 chapters and filled three four inch binders.

    When I was about 19 I finished a children's ya book. That didn't take as long, maybe about eight months. It was a short novel though about 200 pages.

    Another book I wrote when I was 28? but its missing its end chapter and took 1 year and is about 800 pages long.

    The one novel I'm still struggling with - I wrote three different versions over I'd say three years back in 2002- 2005. But the drafts only took about six months to complete. The book was about 345 pages long ( depends on the draft though - lol ) The time I've put in though, is really hard to follow because I usually get frustrated with projects and abandon them for a while. So what looks like years is in actual typing a matter of months.

    And in between all these are about 6 half-finished books & 2 screenplays, projects I have since abandoned.

    None of this of course answers your question because none of these I would call complete. But at the time I considered them complete - until the reread.

    I couldn't even guess how long it takes for me to write a short story. Not Pink was done in approx four days but the Worms of Wicher-Woo, I'd say two months. And Not Pink is, I think, triple the length. Every project is different. Though my first drafts now blow my former last drafts out of the water. The time now is better spent.
     
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  21. shadowwalker
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    shadowwalker Contributing Member Contributor

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    If that's the case, I'm really screwed.
     
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  22. outsider
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    outsider Contributing Member Contributor

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    I usually knock one out in an afternoon over a few Corvoisiers, dear boy. :)
     
  23. Ulramar
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    Ulramar Contributing Member Contributor

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    Are we talking full length novels here or short stories
     
  24. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    the question was in reference to 'a book'... so, not short stories... but not necessarily fiction...
     
  25. Bryan Romer
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    Bryan Romer Contributing Member Contributor

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    About three to five months per novel depending on how hard I push and how much research is required.
     

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