With apologies to Paul Carrack. Welcome to another BlogHop, with #OpenBook. Here’s this week’s prompt.
How many hours a day do you write? How long on average does it take you to write a book?
Before we begin, I had a request after last weeks BlogHop post to put my avatar pictures on my blog.
So here they are.
Back to the prompt.
I wrote the first paragraphs of what was to become Freefall way back in 1979. I initially thought it would be a short story. I got to where I thought would be a good ending and left it, meaning to return one day. Life got in the way and I never did go back.
In 2011 I started it again, I actually had an idea for a second short story, which I realised could be joined to the first and would turn it into a novel.
Freefall was published in April 2013. Which is 34 years! Far too long a time to base a writing career on.
I wrote my second novel, Ribbonworld as a NaNoWriMo project in 2014, with time on my hands when I was off work with a shoulder injury. I’d had an experience that seemed like a good starting point for a mystery. It took me a month to write the bulk of it and a few months to edit and polish, it was published in 2015, a year after I started it.
My idea then was to produce one novel a year. But I found that I was getting quicker, ideas flowed and I had a job keeping up.
I now write about 1500 to 2000 words on most days. I don’t keep score anymore. I did in 2017, just to see how many words I would actually write over the twelve-month period.
I wrote 514,000 words in the year and published four novels and a book of short stories. I was really surprised to find out the total. I never felt under any pressure to write that much; I never do. When the ideas come into my head, I just put them down.
Now, I often construct a novel ready for a beta read in two months or less, ready for publication in six months. As I often find myself switching between projects, the six-month periods overlap, enabling more than two books a year. Sequels tend to be quicker as I already have the world, it just needs a plot. New work takes a while longer as I have to start from scratch and create the setting as well as tell the story. A lot of that time is actually spent waiting for my editor or beta readers to work their magic, I’d hate to rush them; of course, I can carry on writing the next book while I wait.
This year, I’m attempting NaNoWriMo for the fifth time. I have had three successful novels from the challenge, with my 2018 project ready for publication in March 2020. A bit later than I would have liked but it’s the first of a new series and I had other things to publish first. Readers ask me for sequels and I hate to disappoint. So far, I’m keeping up with the NaNo challenge and if it all goes well, I’ll have a first draft for my editor by Christmas. The edited novel will then go to my beta readers, if they like it, I will publish it later in2020.
I tend to write for an hour or so early in the morning (before anyone else is around) and again late at night, especially in summer, when there is so much else that I want to do in the day. In winter, or when it’s raining, I may do a bit in the day if I’m not going out. I don’t set a formal daily target of time or words. It’s always apparent when to stop as the inspiration will dry up, whether it’s after an hour or some other amount of time.
What about you? please let me know your thoughts, your writing routines and how long it takes you to complete a novel. Leave a comment below.
I’ll be back on Thursday with another Showcase post, featuring an Indie Author with something to say. Please click the links to see the other great blogs on this hop.