One of the most common questions I get about writing novels is: How long does it take you to write a whole novel? If you don’t count all the subsequent drafts and edits and only count the months it took to finish a first draft, then the answer appears to be nine months. At least for my latest novel, Starforgers.
The only thing on my plate in the past nine months was the final edits for Tyrmia, which were being wrapped up when I started writing. So the nine months guess is pretty close. That does not include the time it took to hash out the initial outline. It looks like that took about a month to write up for Starforgers.
There were periods of time, a month I believe, where I didn’t write anything. I should take a look at my Dropbox folder and see where the gaps were. I renamed the document every day that I wrote it. Mmmm, let me check that. Hold the blog. Okay, looks like the only month I wrote nothing was in January of this year. So revise that to eight months to write Starforgers. I actually wrote only eighty-four different days out of that eight month period. Pretty lame. What the heck was I doing? Let’s see, that’s about eleven days per month that I actually wrote anything on the novel. Again, weak.
Let’s break it down some more.
June 2011 – 11 Days
May 2011 – 13 Days
Apr 2011 – 18 Days
Mar 2011 – 19 Days
Feb 2011 – 5 days
Jan 2011 – None
Dec 2010 – 6 Days
Nov 2010 – 5 Days
Oct 2010 – 7 Days
I’m amazed that I was able to write in December, but not in January. Looks like the bulk of the novel was written in four months. So I wrote the whole book in just 84 days, or a bit under 3 month’s time. Those of you who follow this blog, know that I’m heavily involved in my two son’s baseball season. April, May and part of June are the busiest months of the year for me and low and behold, that’s when I wrote the bulk of the novel.
I wish I could diff the files in Dropbox. Then I could figure out how much I actually wrote each day. As it is, I’m just not that curious. So I guess that’s as far as my breaking down the numbers will go. Kind of interesting I’d say. June was my deadline for finishing the first draft. Maybe I should have made it sooner.