Thursday, March 8, 2012

How Long Does it Take You to Write a Book?

Some people spend years on one of their stories, some take only weeks to complete that first draft. For the book I'm currently revising, the first draft took me around ten months. Now, I'd love it if my next one came to me faster than that, but I think it happened the way it was supposed to happen (obviously, since it happened that way).

Every time I sit down to write, I can't help but think about how my surroundings, mood, time of day, etc. all play a part in what I actually type at that specific moment in time. What if I hadn't met up at Starbucks that one particular morning? I probably would have gotten lost in house cleaning and done nothing constructive (in a writerly sense). And when I actually did find time to write, who's to say that section would turn out the same as it may have writing somewhere else, at a different time? Am I losing you yet? I guess I'm just saying find the time to write, if that's what you love doing. You never know what's going to come out... but you may wonder what's not coming out if you skip out.

While it may have taken me longer than some to write that draft, I sometimes edited as I went along (with the help of my fabulous critique gals *waves to Kristi and KM*), because I like less work later. This is why I'm terrified to try NaNoWriMo that so many people seem to dive into. Besides being insanely busy with photography in November, I can't imagine making that much work for myself later. To bust out a wretchedly rough first draft just to get it out in such a short period of time, then have to completely rework it later?? EH.

So how do you go about your first draft? Do you take your time, or do you like to rush through and rework later?

By the way, Kristi is giving away a SIGNED copy of Lauren Oliver's Pandemonium! ENTER HERE!


  1. Well you know it takes me a long time, but this last one has come a lot faster than normal. *knocks on wood* hoping to be done before the end of April.

  2. *Waves back*

    Thanks for the shout out BTW!

    You know what I think works best for me? Pressure! LOL! (Kidding...though honestly it's what's getting me through right now!)

    I'm with you on the NaNoWriMo...same reasons I haven't tried it yet myself. Think it's AWESOME if that method works for you but I tend to be more methodical and slow than I was in the beginning when I just tore through a rough draft to get it down on paper. Now there's lots of revising and editing (and panicking) as I go, which takes longer, but hopefully the rough draft is smoother at the end of it all and there's less editing on the back end. *fingers crossed*

  3. I'd say my average is probably 3 months, working pretty hard each time I sit down. The more novels I get under my belt, the faster I'm able to write the next one because I'm able to write more with each session. More, and better. Now that I'm in school full-time again, I've slowed to a nearly non-existent speed, so who knows from now on?

  4. It took me about year on the first book, less than two months on the second. (I did it during NaNa of 2010 which REALLY helped!) I'm a perfectionist and tend to overthink as I am writing the first draft, trying to make it as good as possible the first time. I couldn't do that during NaNo. But you know what? The editing time was about the same...

  5. Day-Walker took me about 10 months from start to submission. It is about 28,000 words long. Time Keepers (41,000 was about the same).

    My current piece I started in January and it is up to 17,000 words first draft, but I think this will be a book of around 60,000 words by the end. I am estimating it will take me about 12 months all up to complete the first draft and then another 4-6 months to edit and get it ready for submission.

  6. With my first wip it took me three months and it was just as you Because I didn't get any input in the end and because of that I shelved it because it was just too overwhelming. The last one I did, just like you, took about 10 months and it was much better I think:)

  7. I usually take my time with first drafts, but the one I'm writing now is coming out crazy fast. And terribly rough, of course. Oh, well. I'll worry about revisions later. :)

  8. It took me 6 to 8 for each of my first drafts. I could probably go faster if I had to, but I don't.