1. GeorgiaB
    Offline

    GeorgiaB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0

    To the novel writers....

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by GeorgiaB, Feb 13, 2012.

    Hi All,

    I'm just curious to know how many of you have completed novels, whether it be a first draft or a completed, revised manuscript? I don't have much faith in this statistic: only 1% of writers who start a novel complete one. But it makes me wonder what experience you all have with finishing a book (regardless of whether it is published). How many have you written and how long have you been writing?

    I am about 85,000 words into my novel, and I plan to complete it, although I'm struggling to get to my ending. This thing is so rough that it is overwhelming when I really think about it. (So I try not to.) But in the back of my mind I can't keep myself from contemplating how much revision it is going to need for me to even show it to someone, much less send it to an agent. And then I wonder if maybe writing about 100,000 words for this novel is really just practice for a second, better novel that I will write some day.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences!

    Georgia
     
  2. Kallithrix
    Offline

    Kallithrix Banned

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2011
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    14
    Location:
    UK
    Hi Georgia

    I don't know about the statistics for the general population, but I could well believe that the proportion of people on a writers forum who have completed a manuscript would be higher than 1%, simply because if they are dedicated enough to spend their time trying to communicate with other writers and hone their craft, they are probably dedicated enough to finish a novel.

    Personally, I have written 2 and a half novels, or rather 280,000 words of a story that ended up as 2 and a half volumes ;) Since submitting volume 1 to an agent I have realised it needs a pretty drastic rewrite, and I am about 25,000 words into that rewrite at the moment. Luckily, I now have an agent who seems to like the synopsis of the rewrite, and the fact that she is constantly waiting for the next instalment keeps me motivated to plough on with it.
     
  3. jazzabel
    Offline

    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2012
    Messages:
    4,273
    Likes Received:
    1,666
    I have one such novel, it's not bad and it would most likely be accepted for publishing, but I know I can do so much better. So for me, having a practice novel was useful. I got a few personal stories out of my system, that begged to be told and if they didn't, they would probably intrude on any new idea I have.
     
  4. CH878
    Offline

    CH878 Active Member

    Joined:
    May 24, 2011
    Messages:
    252
    Likes Received:
    11
    Location:
    England
    So far I have finished:

    45K novella (this was terrible, but i was only ten so it's probably forgivable)
    64K novel (this wasn't much better)
    57K novel (in terms of writing quality, this wasn't bad but could have done with being a bit longer)
    67K novel (I'm actually quite pleased with this one)

    I am in line to finish my latest project at around 89K words, and it's by far the best thing I've written so far.

    In my experience, you are always more pleased with your latest piece of work, but every word you write is useful because you are always improving.
     
  5. GeorgiaB
    Offline

    GeorgiaB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    I thought that statistic sounded fishy. But I've actually seen it more than once (you know, while I'm searching the internet for useful information like that instead of actually writing). Thanks for sharing your personal experience. It definitely helps me because I feel alone in my little writing bubble right now.
     
  6. Show
    Offline

    Show Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2008
    Messages:
    1,495
    Likes Received:
    30
    I got about 8 novel-length drafts under the belt. Most could use a ton more editing, but I got 'em typed out. Also a lot of other projects. lol
     
  7. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I have one completely finished ms of 95K that I've submitted and I'm still waiting for the answer. I have a novel in revision right now, which is finished in a first draft and I'm currently on the second. (or third, depending on how you look at it) It's about 90+K too, I think it's going to end up more in the second draft than the first. Then I have yet another 50-ish K novel which I have abbandoned atm. I took up writing again after many years in june 2010 and this is what I have written since then. I'm quite happy with the first one, the second one I'm still not sure if I'll ever submit, but I have such a good time writing it and I still think I'll learn a lot from it, so I keep working on it anyway. :)
     
  8. Felipe
    Offline

    Felipe Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    232
    Likes Received:
    41
    Location:
    Texas!
    I have four completed.
     
  9. 1000screams
    Offline

    1000screams Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Messages:
    29
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Undisclosed, USA
    I completed a story about zombies over the summer last year. Shelved it. It ended abruptly just a few hundred shy of 100k words. I wrote the characters into a corner and the only solution left was to use the last two bullets in a murder/ suicide. I started out with 12 characters at the beginning. Ended up with 2. Lots of twists and turns, but the ending just felt so anti-climatic. So it needs a rewrite or seven. I'm just not in that same dark place. I'm in a different dark place. Writing the second book for a slightly younger crowd, my lead is 17 almost 18 girl with a 9 year old sister. Ghostly story with some humor. About 15k into it after a couple of months. I have more plotting out to do with this one. Zombies was just one attack after another and which character is biting the dust next. I can't say I'll publish the zombie novel, if I ever get around to rewriting it, maybe. But I gained a lot in writing skill by writing it.
     
  10. MVP
    Offline

    MVP Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Messages:
    99
    Likes Received:
    6
    I'm ~70K words in. When I'm done, I'm gonna print one copy, and bind it myself. Then I'm gonna rewrite it, and try to get it published. I'm curious to see how different the polished version will be from my little bound version. And if it never gets published professionally, then who cares, its still mine!
     
  11. joanna
    Offline

    joanna Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Boston
    This is exactly why I wrote my first MS, too. I enjoy it, and it's a great story (I think), but not quite up to my standards and too personal; I'm not publishing it.

    Then I wrote another (90k), trashed it, wrote a whole new version (about 78k).

    That last MS, I love. I'm working on its sequel now (maybe 50k so far).
     
  12. Dubya
    Offline

    Dubya Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2012
    Messages:
    40
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ayrshire, Scotland, UK
    Hi, I have completed one novel, and up until the week I started I had never had any ambition to be writer, nor had any ideas for a book. (I am 53) I set myself the challenge to do something different with my life, chose writing a novel, and finished it just less than a year later. I then did everything wrong! Having read about spending months or years on re-writes, and the statistics concerning how few novels are chosen for publication, I decided not to bother even trying. Instead, I uploaded it in it's rough form as an Ebook, and left it at that. I have, however, gained a tremendous amount of satisfaction from the project, and recommend you stick with it. I have started my second, with a third partly planned.
     
  13. joanna
    Offline

    joanna Active Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2010
    Messages:
    429
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Boston
    I like this idea & now I might do it myself. Just so I can envision my whole book. Would make it easier for me to envision it in bookstores.
     
  14. Joey Batz
    Offline

    Joey Batz Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2012
    Messages:
    36
    Likes Received:
    1
    Geez, so many published authors. Me and my whopping zero novels feel humbled.

    I tried to write a dark fantasy novel once, when I was 17. I scrapped it. More like cyber-burned it. "Darkness of Death", it was called. Awful. It was really awful. And I had gotten to the end too, before I realized that this thing was bad beyond repair. I mean this thing would have made The Eye of Argon look like The Lord of the Rings. I also tried to write a political thriller as well. I took so many notes and jotted down so many ideas that I never got around to writing the first chapter. Now on my third attempt, I'm a much better writer and I've actually made it a few chapters in. I think I have time, though, to write more and improve. I'm only 26.

    As far as being intimidated by the revision process, don't be. Just think of it as part of the writing process.
     
  15. EdFromNY
    Offline

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2010
    Messages:
    4,681
    Likes Received:
    2,533
    Location:
    Queens, NY
    I have written four novels (one of which I am now revising - a very heavy revision that will take a lot of time). I also have the first draft completed of a fifth novel, but I have put it aside as I am unhappy with it and realize it will need very extensive revision. I tried to get two of the completed novels published, and I got as far as being asked for full submissions on both but that's as far as it went. Life circumstances have prevented me from pressing further, but with retirement only a few years off, I expect to be getting back in there.

    I have research done for one historical and partial research for another - more projects for the future. I also had started a play, but have put that aside for now.

    The only items I have actually published have been a few advocacy pieces on the op-ed page of a newspaper on Long Island (not letters to the editor, although I've had several of those) and an article for the publication of New York State United Teachers (about the challenges of being a parent of a child with special needs).
     
  16. GeorgiaB
    Offline

    GeorgiaB Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all of your responses! Very interesting. :)
     
  17. ozymandias
    Offline

    ozymandias Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Clitheroe, UK
    I have two completed first drafts of 80K+ words, but haven't done anything with them.
     
  18. psychotick
    Offline

    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,371
    Likes Received:
    307
    Location:
    Rotorua, New Zealand
    Hi,

    I have six novels up on kindle, and another three or four depending on what you consider a rewrite on my computer waiting for my attention.

    As to the stat you quoted, I have no idea if it's at all accurate. I don't even know how you'd go about getting it. My guess is, it's just a guess.

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  19. Yoshiko
    Offline

    Yoshiko Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2009
    Messages:
    758
    Likes Received:
    27
    I have completed at least fourteen novels.
     
  20. VM80
    Offline

    VM80 Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2010
    Messages:
    1,211
    Likes Received:
    43
    Location:
    UK
    Just one.

    I prefer short stories of late, so that's the kinda stuff I'd write now.
     
  21. louis1
    Offline

    louis1 Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2012
    Messages:
    238
    Likes Received:
    7
    I have completed nothing. except for a 25k first draft, of the greatest story ever!!!!! (probably not) but I like to make myself believe this so I don't give up.
     
  22. Gonissa
    Offline

    Gonissa Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2012
    Messages:
    264
    Likes Received:
    12
    Location:
    Ghost Tower
    I have a five part series of fanfiction novels over 200k words combined. Original fiction? Um...hehe...hehe...ha...
     
  23. Lily J.
    Offline

    Lily J. Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    When I was 16 I spent a whole summer writing a story and when it was finished it contained 30 pages (type: Calibri / size 9) and a total of 38.000 words. Last couple of years I've been trying to rewrite but am constantly amazed by what I wrote originally. (Yeah, it's really bad so am thinking about writing a new story with the same concept rather than rewriting the old one) :)
     
  24. Tesoro
    Offline

    Tesoro Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2011
    Messages:
    2,825
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    A place with no future
    I did that - twice! :)
    When I was 16 (!) I started on a story that I wrote on for years and years and it just never ended :D Then summer 2010 I decided to write that story "seriously", and wrote a novel-format of it (the previous draft was way too long) changing the plot slightly to fit into a novel but keeping the concept. When I was finished I submitted it to three publishers and it got rejected. I learned a lot more about writing and realized it was really bad (hihi) and rewrote the entire thing again - and this time it came out much better (at least as far as i can say) and I've resubmitted it and am waiting for answers atm. It's the third version of this story and so far it's the best one. if you like it, don't give up on it.
     
  25. Lily J.
    Offline

    Lily J. Member

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Messages:
    14
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks! I've submitted it to a publisher as well but at 16 I couldn't deal with their feedback very well so I just gave up on the story. If only I had listened to their advice etc. it might've actually turned in to something real, but nothing I can do about that now. :rolleyes: I would be embarresed if they'd really published it because it's not very good and it would've hunt me forever for being my first novel, LOL.
     

Share This Page