View Full Version : How Long did it take you to Write a novel?

04-26-2005, 11:37 PM
Hi everyone,

I'm in the revision phase of writing what I hope will be a Harlequin Intrigue. I started the book in March and have given myself a deadline of the end of June. But of course, I'm realizing that writing is a book isn't a fast project.

So my question is, for those of you who have actually finished a book, how long does it take you to write a novel? Please include the word count so we all know how big your book is.

My book is 75,000 words and I hope to be done in four months.



04-26-2005, 11:44 PM
My YA novel, Lost and Found Love (Koenisha Publications), took eleven months and it's 55,000 words. For me, that was quick. I wasn't working on too much else at the time. Now I have an adult romance/intrigue that's taken almost two years, at 70,000 words. But as I said, I write essays and short stories for magazines, too.

Don't worry about how much time it takes. Some days will be better than others when it comes to BIC and your imagination working at full speed. (Coffee helps me a lot!)

Good luck, Melody!

Susan Gable
04-27-2005, 03:37 AM
When my muse isn't on vacation, when I'm truly working like I'm supposed to be, it takes me 4-5 months to write a Superromance - app. 85,000 words. I like to give myself 6 months to give myself time to do all the tweaking I like to do.

But this can vary even just for me. So don't sweat how long it takes you, although it's good to know how long so once you sell you know how to set your deadlines. :)

Susan G.

Julie Worth
04-27-2005, 03:44 AM
Six weeks for a first draft of a political thriller (70 thousand words), then another month of editing before I stared querying--too soon, too soon! I've put in another couple of months since then. My latest is an adult thriller with a thirteen year old protagonist. It's fun to write, but terribly slow--a month for the first 15k.

04-28-2005, 10:09 AM
Some books have taken as little as three months from the first word emerging from the computer screen until the first query letter leaves the stable in search of fulfilling dreams. Others have taken longer and some, still on going, seem to never end. Each book is its own world, no time limit can really be placed on it.

04-28-2005, 07:49 PM
First novel took about 4 months to write the first draft, which came in around 115,000 words, I think. YA novel, 50,000 took 25 days, making sure I averaged 2000 words a day. Sequel also took around 25 days for similar length, and I have one I've been playing with for years which has roughly 300,000 words so far. I play with it, ignore it, play with it. You know the idea. :)

04-28-2005, 08:51 PM
Hi Torin,

I've been writing 2000 words a day on my novel. I like it. I feel like I get the story written without allowing myself to wallow too much.

Editing 2000 words a day is a completely different story. I wool-gather, I get annoyed, and I get overwhelmed. I know editing is like water, a writer can't live without it. But I wish I could find a less painful way to edit.

04-28-2005, 09:08 PM
When it comes to editing, I don't worry about word count as much as getting pages done. I sometimes write longhand and so the first rewrite happens as I'm typing it in. Then I leave it alone for a few weeks or a month or two before I come back to reread and do some serious editing, and I get my daughter, who has sharp eyes, to read for me and pick out any discrepancies or areas that don't flow. I also get a few other trusted eyes (such as the ones here in "Share your work") for input on story flow. I trust my grammar and spelling and try to watch out for those things I KNOW I overuse. My characters have a habit of turning here, turning there, turning their heads, turning back, until I think they're all whirling like dervishes. lol


04-29-2005, 05:36 PM
My first book (80,000 words) took about a year. My current novella (30,000 words) should take about 3 months for a first draft and 2 weeks to revise. Of course it depends on a lot of things -- I am working full time but I don't have many other obligations.