But how much time does it take? I've read about authors taking decades to write novels and I've also read about books that were completed in a few weeks.
I wrote Underground, the novel that got me my agent, in 4 months.
I've been working on my current manuscript for almost year. I'm still working on the second draft, and if I am very honest with myself I think it's likely that I won't finish this book until 2011.
This is frustrating! I've been working hard at it. Why is it taking so long?
Well, I could blame the fact that I've been pregnant. I could subtract two months for horrific morning sickness and I probably subtract the last three months of the pregnancy too, because I was sicker than I was during the morning sickness part. But even if I subtract all the months when I was unable to be productive, this book will still take WAY longer to write than the last one did.
Why? Because it's a different book. There are new puzzles to work out and new characters to get to know and maybe some of those puzzles and characters have been trickier for me to get right.
Also, I'm not quite as clueless this time around. My writing pace slows as I make a conscious effort to use more action verbs and fewer adjectives and adverbs.
Plus I'm going to makes sure to give this one to a lot of great beta readers before my agent sees it. Underground was only beta read by family members before I queried. As a result it needed A LOT of post-querying editing and rewriting. Hopefully this one won't need as much.
I've accepted that every book is different and some might just take a little longer to bake than others. Every writer is different too, and though I'd love to be able to write a book every few weeks, I don't think I'm that kind of writer.
How long did it take you to write your novel? Are you one of those writers who can churn out a masterpiece every month? Or are you still working on the one you started 25 years ago?