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  1. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    Time to write a novel

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by skeloboy_97, May 6, 2011.


    Hi guys,

    Just wondering, on average, how long does it take you to complete a novel (90-120K?)

    Thanks
     
  2. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    7, on scale of 1 to orange Skittle.

    (edit: oh, and just to be clear, that is my serious response... it's all, like, zen and stuff, though... vooodooooo)
     
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  3. Reggie
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    Reggie I Like 'Em hot "N Spicy Contributor

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    In most cases, it takes me about three months to finish a first draft novel, but I can often get 20k done in a months, considering that have other things to do.

    As far as the planning stage, it would take me an average of a month to complete the planning stage. Sometimes I tend to re-write it if I feel that it needs to be re constructed. Therefore, it may take me longer to get it done. It may well take me a little longer when I revise the piece. Unfortunately, I do not write novels as much anymore. I translated my first novel into a movie script instead, which takes me shorter to write, because I have all my ideas down from the existing planning stage (I am using the same ideas from the novel).

    It may take an average person a little longer, say about 6 months if he is really taking his time and not rushing the process.
     
  4. skeloboy_97
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    skeloboy_97 Senior Member

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    What?
     
  5. JimFlagg
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    JimFlagg Contributing Member

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    I do about 10K in 1.5 to 3 weeks. This varies though depend on if my muse is running at full speed or not. Some times I get blocked up and just read or edit.
     
  6. VM80
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    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

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    First draft around 4-5 months.

    That's bearing in mind I worked full-time in the Big Smoke, and didn't write every day...

    The re-writes seem to take as much, if not longer.
     
  7. Melzaar the Almighty
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    Melzaar the Almighty Contributing Member Contributor

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    Usually a couple of weeks worth of hard work, but it can be several months of poking around at the novel writing the opening and stuff - I have about 3 or 4 projects on the go for a while waiting to see what takes my fancy and then after a few weeks of that one of them is suddenly really important to me so I power away at it and finish it in a couple of months. It depends how busy I am in the rest of the time.
     
  8. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Working full time and only having the evenings to write I can manage probably five pages, say two thousand maybe three thousand words a night. The problem is that whatever I write one night I'm likely to rewrite the next, and the night after that I'll be working on a different novel. So in the end years is the best answer I can give. If only I could master the secret of writing things only once!

    Cheers.
     
  9. Vick
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    Vick New Member

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    I did National Novel Writing Month last November and managed to complete a 50,000-word 'novel' in 30 days. Obviously it was by no means perfect - but it was a good skeleton to go back to and rework.

    ...some people actually did 150,000 words in that time period

    Vick
     
  10. EdFromNY
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    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

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    It all depends on how much time you can devote to it. If you can afford to devote all day, every day, it won't just take fewer days, it will take fewer total hours because you can remain much more consistent in your thought processes. When you are writing in your spare time, working full time, you may go days or even weeks without writing anything, and that usually means you have to take time to go back and read your way to where you left off. And even then, you may not still have the idea fresh in your mind of what you had been working on. The problem grows larger when you add in other complications of life - raising children, dealing with aging parents, outside obligations, et al.

    So, in the end, popsicledeath's answer is pretty much on the money.
     
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  11. JeffD
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    JeffD Member

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    It took J.R.R. Tolkien 12 years to write The Lord of the Rings. Which was broken in to 3 different books, but really is 1 book. Do you want quality or quantity?

    And I say orange skittle would be the correct answer popsicle.
     
  12. spklvr
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    spklvr Contributing Member Contributor

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    If I stick to my writing schedule and don't have to put it off due to work or school, I can finish a first draft in about 3 months I think. Depends on the novel. A novel I wrote for my cousin took me only 1 month, but another much longer and more complicated story took me almost a year just to get the first draft done.

    But let's take the one and only novel I have completely finished. 82 021 words (just checked). Nothing more I can do with it at my current skill level.
    The first draft took me very accurately 4 months (around summer time, lot of time off).
    Second draft (adding description, fixing plot holes, removing/adding scenes) took 2 months (also not much to do in school yet).
    After this I spent over half a year away from the novel because of school.
    Then I got to the third draft (proper editing), and that took another 4 months.
    Then the fourth and final touch took me only 2 weeks, because I had time off and nothing to do.

    And you know what really pisses me off about this novel? It's fanfiction...
     
  13. MMC83
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    MMC83 New Member

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    I'm currently writing my first novel and its taking an age! Working a full time job and other commitments means it can be hard work to just get into writing mode. At this rate, it'll probably take me years to finish...
     
  14. popsicledeath
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    popsicledeath Banned

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    Sure the OP was just curious, which is cool. It is important to note, I believe, that it varies widely, from project to project, person to person, life to life. Some people say it gets easier, though others say if it gets easier you're just not challenging yourself with all the new things you've learned. So, while the answers are interesting, put no stock in them personally. Let it take however long it takes.
     
  15. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I finished my first draft (85K) in 2,5 months. (was working full time)
    The second one I challenged myself and completed 40K in less than a month. (not working at all)
    I write pretty intensely when I make my first drafts and then I spend more time revising than I did on the first draft. And I mean a LOT more. :p
     
  16. Porcupine
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    Porcupine Contributing Member

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    That goes almost exactly for me as well. Sometimes I can be a little faster, often a lot slower, but as a figure for what is regularly achievable, that is about right.

    Though I was shocked to discover today that my current work in progress is already at 150 pages now. But I've been working at that - intermittently - for several months now, so I shouldn't be too surprised.
     
  17. Youniquee
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    Youniquee (◡‿◡✿) Contributor

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    I've done almost 50k in 6 months..while being at school full time. This is my first serious novel. It varies from person to person though~
     
  18. Yoshiko
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    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

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    Personally, it can take me anywhere between twenty-eight days to over a year. It depends on the amount of free time I have, if I'm motivated, and whether I'm writing for personal enjoyment or if I'm writing it to submit to a publisher.


    My current WIP (168k) has taken me six months so far:

    • 75k in November 2010
      • 50k of that in the first week of the month while I was off college ill and still hyped up about starting a new project.
    • 50k in December 2010
      • Most written over the Christmas break.
    • 29k in January 2011
      • Written during free time.
    • 2k in February 2011
      • Unmotivated.
    • 0k in March 2011
      • Had a deadline to meet on a short story while sitting exams every week so no time for this novel.
    • 12k in April 2011
      • Internal exam resits.
     
  19. Tesoro
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    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

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    I know!! Mine is on the 100 page mark and I've just introduced the third main character that appeared in something like the 28th page in the very first version!!! But then Im rewriting most of the plot of the original draft, so I guess with this new development I will probably reach beyond the initial 228 pages. :)
     

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