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  1. friendly_meese

    friendly_meese Member

    May 8, 2014
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    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by friendly_meese, Aug 2, 2014.

    The latest issue of Writers Digest contains interviews with two authors whose debut novels were published in 2014. Both said they took a year and a half to complete their first drafts, and one said she then spent a full year polishing it before submitting to only eight carefully-chosen agents, of whom one expressed the huge level of enthusiasm she'd been looking for.

    If people who made it needed 18 months to write the first draft of the novel that actually sold, I'm feeling a lot less bad about dragging my butt on my WIP. The turtle _does_ win the race with the rabbit, I guess.
    minstrel likes this.
  2. EdFromNY

    EdFromNY Hope to improve with age Supporter Contributor

    Jun 13, 2010
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    Queens, NY
    The time it takes to finish a novel is a function of several variables - length of the project, life commitments of the writer, health issues, research and follow-up required and, of course, the level of commitment to the project. My current project took me 21 months to complete, and I've been editing and getting input from beta-readers for four months. But that does not include several years of research and background reading before that.
  3. thirdwind

    thirdwind Contributing Member Contest Administrator Reviewer Contributor

    Jul 17, 2008
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    Just be thankful you don't have to write all your drafts by hand. Tolstoy rewrote Anna Karenina something like six times, and he didn't even have access to a typewriter. If I had to write by hand, it would take me decades to finish a book. Taking a few years doesn't seem so bad all of a sudden.
  4. Charisma

    Charisma Transposon Contributor

    Jul 23, 2007
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    Lahore, Pakistan
    I don't think that in writing, there is a one-size fits all protocol. Yes, there's Stephen King, Agatha Christie and so many others who we know to have written novels upon novels without a break, with all seemingly bestseller quality. But there are novelists who only have one good story to tell, and once it's out there it makes the big screens quickly and efficiently; it leaves an impact unlike any other writer, even a serial novelist who has been publishing every year.

    I think you should take the time you ought to take with your novel, without looking around to see if that's normal or not. Don't slack, but don't try to conform to some capitalist notion of mass production of creativity; it doesn't apply to everyone.

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