How long to write a book?

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  1. tsmog profile image79
    tsmogposted 3 years ago

    How long to write a book?

    Holly Robinson author of 'Beach Plum Island' and the 'The Wishing Hill' says in her blog 4 - 10 years. That question was asked at the Newburyport Literary Conference. Moderated by O Magazine editor Lucy Kaylin.

    Does that offer hope?

  2. profile image0
    Lesleysherwoodposted 3 years ago

    It's almost like asking how long is a piece of string. I think it depends on how much time you have in your life, the subject you are writing about, and oh yeah, let's not even mention horrible 'writer's block.' I have to write when I'm in the mood. If I have a set schedule the creative juices just don't seem to flow.

    1. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting. How is it there in the UK this moment? Nice I hope. I just went back to review all those books I started last year - 3. Now, how to choose one . . . only one to begin that quest of 4 - 10 years while continuing exploring writing. hmmm ..

    2. profile image0
      Lesleysherwoodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I love writing, I just wish I could do it quicker. As for the weather, the heavens just opened up with hail that looked as neat as bean bag filler, I lost Internet connection for 10 min, but now the sun is shining and I'm back online. Yay

    3. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Hooray! Great to have a connection I am sure. As I am awake in the wee hours here in California there is rain dancing outside the window. A blessing for us since we are in a drought. Almost 1" (2.5cm) fell yesterday. The garden will love that.

    4. profile image0
      Lesleysherwoodposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Ooh Tim. Fancing swapping?

    5. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Lesley I have a very dearest friend in Sweden. I feel odd and out of tune when I share with her how sunny the day is as it plummets rain there and so often. Yet, this drought is costing the world with the farmer's plight. Sad really . . .

  3. M. T. Dremer profile image90
    M. T. Dremerposted 3 years ago

    It really depends on what genre you're writing. I wrote an epic fantasy novel that took me 10 years to draft, edit, and publish. But, by contrast, I wrote a shorter science fiction novel in 30 days. So it comes down to what kind of story you're trying to tell (or non fiction point you're trying to make) and how much of a stickler you are for editing.

    1. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Wow! Definitely a contrast to ponder. I wrote one work related book specific to that place of work. It took about 9 months. I would like to try fiction. My wanders a lot, so unsure if it would ever reach the end.

  4. alancaster149 profile image84
    alancaster149posted 3 years ago

    Take your time if this is your first. (It's the nearest I'd come to having a kid). I edited my first one three times and I was a couple of years before I brought it 'to bed'. The next three were about six months in writing, editing and publishing. This next one in my saga series will be a bit longer, about eight months from end to end.
    If you haven't got somebody else on your back with a deadline, you call the shots.

    1. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thank you Alan. I believe your advice is very sound and well heeded :-) I like the analogy with a child. I can see it is like raising child within life.

  5. connorj profile image79
    connorjposted 3 years ago

    OMG, it depends completely on you and I believe your level of cognitive associations in the genre. I am a "wee-bit" of a procrastinator although swirled into me is persona achievement. Thus, I can complete a nonfiction book quickly with significant scaffolding. That being, dead or death lines not drawn in the sand but etched in my persona. The death lines can be demanding in terms of time-period; no matter because of my "achiever mentality. Always keep in mind this is significantly dependent on the genre you are writing. If it is a genre I have little cognitive associations/"experience" in then all bets are off. Although I have published 2 nonfiction academic oriented books I am still struggling after in excess of 5 years for another book I am currently formulating that is non-academic...

    1. tsmog profile image79
      tsmogposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Congratulations on your publications. Academia to me is a challenging area to write in. I nod my head. Good luck with the new adventure :-)

    2. connorj profile image79
      connorjposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks, Tim!

  6. tamarawilhite profile image91
    tamarawilhiteposted 3 years ago

    From start to finish, I've written books in several months - while working a full time job. However, I had the ideas bouncing around in my head for months before that and scenes played out in my mind. The time then was simply typing up what I already had in mind.

    If I had to come up with a story per a set of parameters set by a publisher and make it interesting and good, not what I wanted to write, that would take much longer.

    Some people are idea generators and can do anything in short order.

    Issac Asimov was famous for putting out a book every month or two plus articles and stories. He joked that he once had writer's block - and it was the worst five minutes of his life. When asked what he'd do if he'd die in a few months, his reply was "type faster". He actually wrote 200 page books in a month on everything from science fiction to astronomy to orbital mechanics.


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