How long to write a novel? [Archive] - Glock Talk

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Fromtheashes
05-28-2008, 21:38
I am working full time and married but I am starting a book. I found a site that claims that you can write a real novel in 100 days. I am not sure but I am going to try it. I am on day 2 and not even done with the outline/plot of the book. Also I have zero experience in writing like this but I know I love it and I think I am good at it. Highest English class I ever took was in high school but I have 2 REALLY good editors to help me out before it actually goes to a publisher.

Any tips or sites would be great.

Squaw Man Wolfer
05-29-2008, 12:05
Novels and writers vary so much that that is like asking "how high is up?"

Many writers take a year to write a novel, Ken Kesey knocked out "One Flew Over the Cookoo Nest" in three days.

Obviously, some novelists pretty much work out the book in their head before they even start, others struggle line by line.

Just to throw a dart at the board, I suspect it would take a new novelist at least six months.

Scarecrow28
05-29-2008, 17:27
I've taken several MONTHS alone just to plan everything out and am now in the process. Its better to dedicate the time to laying the plot out before hand to prevent the later discovery of problems within the story, discrepancies, ect.

JimBianchi
05-29-2008, 17:55
I've seen that 100 days number before. (For how to books Iíve seen the unrealistic 12 hours! I have no idea how that is possible.)

If you are the subject matter expert about what you are writing about and you have a great work ethic and let some one else do the edit, layout and graphics, then yes, 100 days is very doable.

But most of us need to do character research, fact checking and we edit ourselves to save a few bucks. His slows the process down but saves a whole bunch of money later.

I believe everyone has at least one book in them. If you write what you know, (usually about yourself and life) you could do it in much less than 100 days.

A few years ago I wrote 100+ pages of a book about a very bad time in my life. I did it in about a week of 4 hrs at a time on a laptop while working a really boring job.

After I was done with the 100 pages of the basic story, I had to ask my mom about a few details because I was only 9-ish during the story line. Her reaction was so unexpected that I was tempered in my writing about the subject. Mom did not want this written while she lived.

My advice is write what you know, but be prepared for unexpected reaction from people.

Sgt. Rambo
05-30-2008, 05:06
All depends on you and your situation. Time is everything in writing and is rare when you really need it...lol My first book took 7 months and the sequel just over a year because I was on and off with it. It will depend on your writing strategy and your time management.

SergeantC
05-30-2008, 16:57
I can remember that I finished my first novel in a year, by working 1/2 hour every morning each weekday, and whatever evenings and weekends I felt like working. (The only time I set aside on purpose was the morning half-hour.)

The thing is to figure our your story and characters, then just find the time to write. You can do it. I know married people who write novels in between working a full-time job, child-rearing, taking care of the house, attending to the marriage, etc.

Scarecrow28
05-31-2008, 09:06
Try forcing yourself into writing consistently on a daily basis. I've had trouble lately with writers block, but need to force myself into this daily habit and finish my novel. I've got all the planning but a minimum of actual writing done.

USDefender
06-21-2008, 09:07
I've seen that 100 days number before. (For how to books I’ve seen the unrealistic 12 hours! I have no idea how that is possible.)

If you are the subject matter expert about what you are writing about and you have a great work ethic and let some one else do the edit, layout and graphics, then yes, 100 days is very doable.

But most of us need to do character research, fact checking and we edit ourselves to save a few bucks. His slows the process down but saves a whole bunch of money later.

I believe everyone has at least one book in them. If you write what you know, (usually about yourself and life) you could do it in much less than 100 days.

A few years ago I wrote 100+ pages of a book about a very bad time in my life. I did it in about a week of 4 hrs at a time on a laptop while working a really boring job.

After I was done with the 100 pages of the basic story, I had to ask my mom about a few details because I was only 9-ish during the story line. Her reaction was so unexpected that I was tempered in my writing about the subject. Mom did not want this written while she lived.

My advice is write what you know, but be prepared for unexpected reaction from people.

+1 on 'writing what you know'. That has gotten me through some sticky situations already. As for those 'unexpected reactions' from people... that's why I've changed a lot of the names of people and places in my story. It affords me plausible deniability. ;)

Regarding the time it takes to write a novel:

I discovered, about a month ago, that I have been kicking my book around in my head for more than a few years now. The one good thing about that is that I now have a good many of the intricate details worked out... I 'm pretty sure... I think. :headscratch:

Either way, I finally turned 40 and thus came to the realization that it's either time to get with it or else give up on it. I'm not getting any younger...as it were.

After loitering in my favorite Barnes & Noble at about that same time, I came across a copy of a how to write a novel book, by Chris Baty, called No Plot? No Problem! and remembered that I had a copy sitting on the shelf in my own library. In it, he details the process of cranking out a novel in 30 days.

Mind you, he's only getting you through the 1st Draft, but I have literally been mulling my book over for a good many years now with absolutely NO draft to show for it. Ideas haven't been my problem, but getting started definitely has been...

Gentlemen (and ladies), let me tell you that if you do what Mr. Baty says and actually give yourself permission to write the first [crappy] draft of your book (Ernest Hemmingway said, "All first drafts are sh**"), you will see it happen. I'm not finished yet, by any means. In fact, I've had to extend Baty's 30-day deadline out another month to give myself some breathing room (it took me a bit to get rolling). But I refuse to beat myself up about it and I can honestly say that, thanks to Mr. Baty, I'm now getting the novel out of my head & onto the paper.

I'm sure that if I had been more disciplined and actually followed Baty's directions to the letter, I'd have had my first draft done in the allotted 30-day time period. :whistling:

Scarecrow28
06-21-2008, 11:12
I hope to force myself into an hour of writing per day and around 1,000-2,000 words per day in order to complete the novel by either the end of the summer season or sometime around September-October.