1. Patrick94
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    Patrick94 Active Member

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    Is it really that quick?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Patrick94, May 29, 2011.

    From reading author's notes on what they've written (novels), some seem to say t takes them only 3-4 weeks to write a first draft (but some go on to say they spend quite a while rewriting and rewriting [two years in one case]). I know they're professionals, and they spend a lot of time at it every day, but isn't that still incredibly quick?
     
  2. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    How many words? If the story is short is not unusual, some people (especially cocaine - carburated) wrote entire novel in three or four days.
     
  3. LaGs
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    LaGs Banned

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    Tbh I find these kinds of questions totally pointless. A lot of the time it's like asking how long's a piece of string. I mean three to four weeks would be plausible, yes, because if a writer has an idea for a book, he already has a lot of the plot points formed in his head already. All that's left is to just go ahead and write the thing. If the writing process takes longer, then it's hardly the end of the world, yeno. Taking that bit of extra time is necessary if it improves the quality.
     
  4. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have to agree with LaGs.

    Still, I believe I read an interview with Stephen King where he said that most of his novels take him three months or so, but I think that might be with one or two revisions, then it's, like, published. I think that's why he usually ends up with about two novels published a year.

    Can't recall the details of that, though. These people might be talking about first drafts specifically. I know most published authors sit down for several hours and don't stop until they've written three or four thousand words a day, sort of thing.

    And Anthony Trollope used to sit down for two and a half hours (to the second) every morning before he went to work as a postman. If it hit two and a half hours and he was halfway through a sentence or even a word, he'd get up, leave, and come back to it later. And even if there was only a minute or two left, if he finished his novel, he'd begin another one.

    I'd love to be like Anthony Trollope.
     
  5. HotfireLegend
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    HotfireLegend Member

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    Wow, Anthony seems really disciplined. Postman work starts at what, 6-7am? That means he's getting up at 4 ish am to do his novels 0_o

    As for novel writing, I guess it depends on length and if you know what you're going to write. If you don't know, you're certainly going to be a lot slower than someone who knows.
     
  6. darkhaloangel
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    darkhaloangel Active Member

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    I watched the biopic of Enid Blyton the other day and discovered she wrote 6000 words a day, and published, in some years 23 books. Granted some were pretty short, but she did write some right ole' tomes as well.
     
  7. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    :eek: :eek:

    I would love to have that discipline too, but unfortunately even I start at 7 and I appreciate my sleep too much to get up 2,5 hours before I have to, even to do something I love, like writing. Besides, I write best in the evenings, when my brain is more "awake". (and have had plenty of coffees during the day, LOL)
    I agree with you, someone that has the entire novel outlined (like I think most of these writers do) must work a lot quicker than someone that is making everything up as he goes along. I wrote my first draft in 2,5 months and I thought that was fast, lol. but I had been thinking about it for years. The second draft took something similar while the third one was done after only four weeks (took the one-month-novel-writing-challenge) but that ws only 42K, so I don't know if you can even call it novel. :)
     
  8. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Jesus, posties where you come from get up early. I don't know about where Trollope is from, but here in Australia our mail doesn't come until, like, lunch time at least.
     
  9. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    If they can write novels that quickly, just 2 books published a year seems a little low. :p

    Maybe they can write quickly. But I don't see why you should HAVE to be THAT quick.

    I myself go through periods of not writing anything for awhile. Then I can start something and churn out a few K a day. It's all pretty random.
     
  10. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    I often finish first drafts in about a month (40-60K). How I do that is first, make a complete plot-outline. If I want to make any changes to the story, I write a new outline, leave it for a few days, and look at it again to see if it really is a better idea.
    I also write at least an hour each day. Usually from five to six, as this is the best time for me. I come home at about 3:30, eat dinner and take my dog for a long walk so that he's down for a few hours, and I can just relax and write. I find that whatever mood I'm in, after about fifteen minutes, I am totally into the story again. I'm a fast typer and can easily write 1500-2000 words in one hour, and I usually write for longer than that unless I have something to do that day.
    Note that I rarely take my stories to the second draft stages unless I really like them. Say I complete about four-eight rough drafts a year, and out of those I might take one and work on it properly. Right now I have two stories I work on properly when I'm not inspired to write something else, both are in the second draft stage, and it's taking forever. The first draft of both were finished ages ago as well.
     
  11. SteamWolf
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    SteamWolf Senior Member

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    I did NaNoWriMo a couple of years back and succeeded in producing a 50,000 word novel in a month (was a bit more than that by the end) but that was a mammoth task with a full time job to do as well. But I could believe it of someone that didn't have to go to work, be it a stay at home parent, unemployed or a professional novelist.

    Writing it is one thing. It takes just as long if not longer to edit, proofread and tweak it to completion.
     
  12. StrangerWithNoName
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    StrangerWithNoName Longobard duke

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    The Legend says that Robert Louis Stevenson wrote the strange case of Fr.Jekyll and Mr.Hide under the effect of cocaine in about 72 hours. Uncle Steve wrote Cujo suring an overdose, he had a sort of blackout and didn't remember anything about him writing these pages but he found the complete manuscript the day after.
     
  13. Declan
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    Declan Senior Member

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    I heard somewhere that it is better to get everything out and to just write and not worry too much about the quality, till you get to about page fifty, and to then begin the editing process, which as I understand, takes longer than the writing itself.
    Still, it is whatever works for yourself. Like Show, it's all pretty random with me too, I just write whenever, which rules me out of the quirky writer's group I suppose :(
     
  14. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    Wow. I read a blog yesterday and this woman said she had just written a 50 000 word first draft in less than 2 weeks and was overwhelmed by how the words poured out of her fingers. Must be an amazing feeling. :)
     
  15. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    Anthony Trollope WAS from Victorian England.
     
  16. Show
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    Show Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I churned out 80K in 3ish weeks last summer. Doesn't happen often but sometimes you just get inspired.
     
  17. Malc-Downing
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    Malc-Downing Member

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    Some writers can churn out a rough novel in 4 weeks, and then spend a year+ polishing it. others spend a year slowly chipping away and polishing the story as they go.
    i think it depends on the authors style and what works for them.

    i think i fall into the slow and steady section.. take my time, polish each part as i write, wanting it to be perfect, but it never seams to be.

    i guess, it's just easier to see what style works for you
     
  18. FreightTrain74
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    FreightTrain74 New Member

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    I think the getting up at 4 or 5 am thing is accurate for many working on their first novels. I get up at 5 for work, but I'm up at 4am on my days off, too. The brain doesn't shut off like a switch!
     
  19. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    Occaisonally I work from 6pm until 7am, does that count? :p
     
  20. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Say WHAT? That's like thirteen hours! 0.o You've got to be some kind of insane, woman.
     
  21. dizzyspell
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    dizzyspell Active Member

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    I prefer to call it eccentric ;)
     
  22. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    For me it sounds quick, but then I sometimes lack discipline.

    First draft of what I'm working on now took me a good few months. That's not working on it every day (far from it) but having had the idea pretty much 'ready' in my head.

    I don't know, the re-writing is taking much longer and I find it tedious.

    Everyone's different :)
     
  23. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's an old (?) song, I don't know who is singing though. :)
     
  24. Kio
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    Kio Contributing Member

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    Morricone doesn't sing- does he??

    I wish I could write any book that quickly. I've been working on one novel for about five years now with little progress. That could be because I'm a perfectionist when it comes to writing.

    Writing books can be quick or slow for you. It depends on the writer. There is no time limit to writing something. Though I could be bias against someone who writes and finishes an entire novel in like a week, but I believe brilliance takes time. I would assume they just threw stuff together and said, "there, i feenish nao". Then again, that could be me being totally jealous.
     
  25. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey man... leave the Swedish alone. C:

    I agree, though. NaNoWriMo isn't exactly churning out mass amounts of crap (although a lot of people do so proudly), but the idiots who set out to write all 50,000 words in the first 24 hours are not exactly inviting good work.
     

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