1. Youniquee
    Offline

    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Under your bed.

    Taking long on the first draft- bad?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Youniquee, Apr 25, 2011.

    Is it bad that it's almost been 6 months of me writing my novel, and I'm only on the 8th chapter on the first draft! Yes, it all sums up to 45k words but shouldn't I have been further now? I try write 500 words a day but I still feel it's going to take forever to finish this draft...
    I've tried writing a full length novels in the past and never finished...and this is the furthest i've got with a novel.
    Is this normal that I'm such a slow writer?
    Sorry if this is confusing and thank you!
     
  2. Lord Malum
    Offline

    Lord Malum Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2011
    Messages:
    155
    Likes Received:
    7
    Location:
    Kansas City, KS
    Think it's normal. It always takes me forever also. I've yet to finish a novel length story myself. And that's not for lack of trying. It's about commitment. Throw yourself into the story and don't pull out until the story needs a break. That's how I write. The story doesn't often flood out, but more an oozing of sorts. But maybe I'm too much of a stickler for word usage in the first draft. You know, maybe I'm not the best person to listen to on this! I think I'm starting to ramble...
     
  3. spklvr
    Offline

    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2010
    Messages:
    734
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Sarpsborg, Norway
    Don't feel like you're in a rush. Take your time. A first draft for me can take anything from one month to a year. It depends on how well I bother to write, and how long the story is of course. If I have a story planned out in detail, I can write slow and well, and take forever, as I don't expect too many plot changes and rewrites. If it's only a concept or a story with only a few plans, I write quickly and badly, as I know I'm most likely going to go back and rewrite a lot of it (if I even bother to finish it). If I have a lot of time and a lot of inspiration (and the story isn't that long) I could finish in a month or two, but that's very rare.
     
  4. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I'd say that 8 chapters in 6 months is pretty good going. The last thing you want to do is churn out writing simply to make a daily word quota.
     
  5. TWErvin2
    Offline

    TWErvin2 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2006
    Messages:
    2,528
    Likes Received:
    561
    Location:
    Ohio, USA
    Everyone writes at a different rate. It took me 16 months to complete Flank Hawk, and the first draft took about a year to complete. You will find folks who write faster, others that take far longer.

    The main thing is that you complete the first draft--and then you revise/edit and get it ready for submission to agents/edtiors (if that is our goal).
     
  6. KP Williams
    Offline

    KP Williams Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    608
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    My place
    I first came up with the idea for my novel about four years ago. Back then, it was just the roughest of rough ideas, and as I was in the process of writing another novel at the time, I didn't pay it as much attention as I felt it deserved. It took about two years for me to realize that my work-in-progress at the time didn't have half the potential as this rough idea, but when I did, I set the unfinished novel aside and immediately began to brainstorm. Within weeks, I had a less rough outline of a story and a complete chapter to go with it; within a year, I was nearing the end of the rough draft. Somewhere along the line, I decided to read over what I had done in an attempt to weed out any mistakes and contradictions I may have made. The writing itself was satisfactory, but the progression of events was garbage. Worthless. It demanded a complete rewrite and reworking of almost every aspect of the story, simply because I hadn't thought things through well enough before I started writing. I ended up taking the next year solely for developing my world, plots and characters to be as sure as possible that this wouldn't happen again.

    Four years I've had this idea in my head. Two years of working on almost nothing else. What do I currently have to show for it? Two and a half handwritten pages, along with over a hundred failed attempts at chapter one. Thousands of words written, but only a few hundred which made it past my quality writing sensors (and before anyone says anything, I've tried shutting these figurative sensors down to maximize output; didn't work out).

    Anyway, I guess that's a really long way of saying... you're fine. I've taken eight times longer to produce maybe one percent of what you've written, and so far, I'm fine with that. As long as you're happy with what you're producing, and as long as you have no deadline to stick to, I don't think there is such a thing as writing too slowly.
     
  7. Reggie
    Offline

    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2010
    Messages:
    680
    Likes Received:
    22
    Location:
    USA
    Youniquee, I think it is normal, as some stated. However, you don't want to be "too" caught up on one peice and analyze it endlessly. You should be writing the novel at a reasonable time frame (and 6-8 months is acceptable). I've been working on my story since Nov 2010 and is still working on it. make the boook as best as you can make it, and don't hold yourself back on one scene you're having a hard time doing. So writing a novel at a reasonable time is necessary, and if you are caught up on the same problem and won't let go of it, you might not ever finish it. But in general, as long as you feel that you are progressing, it doesn't matter how long it will take you to complete your novel, as long as you don't rush it or get caught on the same problem.
     
  8. martial_wolf
    Offline

    martial_wolf Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    61
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Spokane Valley, Wa
    Six months? Ah, don't even sweat that. I have worked on and off on a novel for two years and just decided it needed to get started all over again! So two years and I have a prologue.

    You're doing fantastically.
     
  9. TheSpiderJoe
    Offline

    TheSpiderJoe Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2011
    Messages:
    174
    Likes Received:
    8
    Location:
    Arizona
    Everyone works at their own pace.

    I wrote the 1st three chapters of my novel eight years ago. Looking back on it now makes me realize that I was very immature and overly excited. Sometimes creativity takes a while. Write at your own pace and let the ideas flow naturally. If you unnecessarily rush the process then it could cause complications down the road.

    The best piece of advice I can give you is to just go with the flow. I've got about 5-10 novel ideas (some that were just conceptualized and others that were a chapter a way from completion). Having a quota is okay if you have a goal in mind but trying to force that quota every day will be akin to accepting quantity over quality.

    Hang in there. Just take the motto from Blizzard Entertainment.

    "It'll be ready when its ready."
     
  10. Youniquee
    Offline

    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    Messages:
    733
    Likes Received:
    36
    Location:
    Under your bed.
    Don't worry, I don't force that quota, if I don't feel like it, I don't feel like it. I just draw or something :p I just want to take a bit more serious y'know, especially cuz I'm a prone to procrastination...xD
     
  11. katica
    Offline

    katica Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2009
    Messages:
    172
    Likes Received:
    11
    You get faster and better at it each time. My first one took me four years to finish (threw it out because it was genuinely just a learning experience and sucked) and this one I've been doing for a little over a year and I can tell I am close to completion. (It's ~90,000 words)
     
  12. aimi_aiko
    Offline

    aimi_aiko Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2011
    Messages:
    340
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Kentucky
    It is quite normal actually. I've been going through this as well (currently, also).

    There is no need to get bent out of shape due to this issue, it is very normal.
     
  13. The-Joker
    Offline

    The-Joker Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2008
    Messages:
    742
    Likes Received:
    35
    Location:
    Africa
    For a first novel 45k in six months is fast I think, but nobody will really be able to tell you the average speed of a writer, because it's quite irrelevant. As a new writer you should only be striving for one thing: Quality. Doesn't matter if it takes you years. Taking four months to produce five pages of scintillating fiction is still a better result than taking four weeks to produce a boring cobbled-together novel that no amount of editing can save. If you're taking longer with your first draft, maybe you're putting in an added effort which won't have to be repeated in the second draft. Just means editing will be easier.
     
  14. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,373
    Likes Received:
    309
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    I agree with the others, don't get hung up on time. Write as an when you feel its right. My first novel took from memory roughly five years to write, my second I think six. Its simply that all through that time I've been getting side tracked into starting other novels, and also continually rewriting what I've written.

    The only reason you need to worry is if this is a business for you, and I suspect that like myself and many others here, its really a passion. So the question is, do you enjoy it? If so, enjoy it. The journey is more important then the destination.

    Cheers.
     

Share This Page