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How Long Does It Take You To Write a 60,000+ word Novel?


How Long Does It Take You To Write a 60,000+ word Novel?  

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  1. 1. How Long Does It Take You To Write a 60,000+ word Novel?

    • usually write 2,000 words/day so about a month
      2
    • usually write 1,500 words/day so about 45 days
      1
    • usually write 1,000 words/day so about two months
      2
    • Three months
      0
    • Six Months
      2
    • 1 Year
      0
    • Years
      1
    • I hate polls - this one is for the haters
      1


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I felt inspired to write a sequel to a novel which is in final edit and I started last night.  Wrote 2,896 words since 9pm last night, so about six hours of writing.  What is the norm?

 

I'm sure the quality of the work has a lot to do with it, so I mean how long does it take you to write something that you are pleased with?

 

Tried to do a Poll but we'll see if it shows.

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I've written two 55k word novels in a month for NaNoWriMo, but they were just first drafts. Writing for raw word count and writing to publish are two distinct things, I think.

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6 minutes ago, Johne said:

I've written two 55k word novels in a month for NaNoWriMo, but they were just first drafts. Writing for raw word count and writing to publish are two distinct things, I think.

I agree.  Quality matters much more than speed.  I'd rather have a novel that took a year + to write and is excellent than a humdrum one that was written in a month.  My editor told me that when I feel creative to just write as much as you can during that time.  That's what I'm doing and the pieces will fall where they may.

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It usually takes me 4 to 6 weeks to write a novel. But editing is a whole 'nother story (it took me 4 years to edit my first novel, which is a 394 page book). However, since my husband passed 3 years ago, I've been trying to write a sequel to my Scribbles series, and... I just can't. He was always the first to read my stories, and I'm wondering if I have a mental block because I know he won't be reading this one.

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42 minutes ago, Tommie Lyn said:

It usually takes me 4 to 6 weeks to write a novel. But editing is a whole 'nother story (it took me 4 years to edit my first novel, which is a 394 page book). However, since my husband passed 3 years ago, I've been trying to write a sequel to my Scribbles series, and... I just can't. He was always the first to read my stories, and I'm wondering if I have a mental block because I know he won't be reading this one.

I totally understand that.  I would not feel compelled to continue to write without someone's encouragement.

 

I think my editor tends to be a cheerleader more than anything.  I write a chapter and not sure how I feel about it and then he texts me something like "I love it! Yada Yada Yada"

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Mainly evenings. So say 3hrs per day plus a 5hr stint over the weekend. Should add that I had a plot out line prepared.

 

The additional material afterwards were 3 added scenes and emotional development or description of environment.

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2 hours ago, Acogah W Swann said:

Wrote 2,896 words since 9pm last night, so about six hours of writing.  What is the norm?

 

For me the "norm" is all over the map. I've had 5,000 word days, and I've had 150 word days. It depends on which part of the story I'm writing. If it's a part I've thought out, and really into, the words flow freely. If it's a part that's giving me trouble, I have to squeeze the words out.

 

I try not to get caught up in word count production. I'm far more interested in quality production. I'd rather not spew out 5,000 words a day just for the sake of meeting a volume goal. For me, that's a guarantee that a lot of those words are crap, and will need to be either cut out or completely rewritten.

 

How long does it take me to write a 60k plus novel? A few months. But the editing? Probably longer. Depends on my Beta writer feedback, and if my editor dosen't jump off a cliff after reading it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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51 minutes ago, Acogah W Swann said:

How many hours a day do you write on average?

I write from 10am to 1pm for two different writing sprints, then again many nights for a couple of hours before bed. I also write for about five hours on a Saturday morning.

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15 minutes ago, Johne said:

I write from 10am to 1pm for two different writing sprints, then again many nights for a couple of hours before bed. I also write for about five hours on a Saturday morning.

I think sometimes the best thing I can do is to think about the chapter when I am doing other activities and then mentally make a framework of what I want to include.  Then when writing, it tends to flow freely.

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32 minutes ago, Ky_GirlatHeart said:

I just write. I have, however, had the very rare days in which I can write over 1,000 or 2,000 words for one novel.

I also "just write." The problem for me is that I tend to be obsessive, so if the words are flowing, I can't quit. I wrote one novel (rough draft, of course) in 10 days, because I just couldn't quit. I wish a bit of that obsessiveness would overcome me right now so I could finish this story.

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Posted (edited)

I had to go with the last option.  One book that was well over 100,000+ words took me two months.  It literally pounded in my head until I let it out.

 

This novella I am working on?  I'm on 4 months, with three chapters to go.

 

Edit: both roughs, of course.

Edited by Jeff Potts
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12 minutes ago, suspensewriter said:

Three months, for the finished version.

That's a good timeline for quality work.

 

I wrote 74,000 words in six weeks and then my editor kept it for more than two months.  Moments ago I received the final draft before it goes to print.  Reading it now.

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Everyone works differently. Some writers only do a couple of drafts, others (like me) can do at least 6-7 drafts possible more if you include proofing and editing. Some pieces come quickly, others take time especially if you hit a snag.

 

My 1st draft is always about getting the story down focusing on plot, pace the overall structure (i.e timelines, dates etc) and getting to know my characters and their world.  It is the 2nd & 3rd draft where I develop characterisation and put the detail in the rough descriptions of their environment and thoughts.  On the whole I underwrite the 1st draft - 50-65K and end up with a final MS of about 75-85K.  I never go beyond 90K.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I put six months, but I have never written a 60,000 word novel! I have trouble writing anything that short. Mine are always over 100,000 words.

 

Of course, that estimate is for non-Covid times. During the past year I have written over 15,000 words per month, so that would shrink to four months for a 60K novel. (My current non-fiction book is over 250,000 words, or over 1,000 pages long, all written since February 2020.)

Edited by paulchernoch
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Life often gets in the way, but I usually publish one 70,000 word novel a year. This year, I'm running a tad over that. I've had so many interruptions with other things. My husband almost died of Covid and I have been designing book covers for other authors, and well if I'm honest, some procrastination when I'm feeling overwhelmed.  When I do write, I push for a minimum of 500 words and often reach 1000. I like to write, leave off at a good place, and then let the story percolate until I can write again. I am currently at 60,000 on this novel, so I'm not too far from the end. Finally! 

 

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I never wrote a novel over 50K. (MG shouldn't be above 50K, soooo...)

Then again, I only finished one novel, closer to 44K, took me one February to write it, and five years of learning how to write novels, getting people to crit, and then getting beta readers, which was done by critting others' novels and beta reading a couple. I couldn't get an agent for it, which turns out a good thing.

 

Ends up that first one was the fast one. It has now taken me five years to get to Chapter 8 on the follow-up... which also can't be over 50K.

Meh. Some of us aren't writing as a career move. 😊

(I'm not hating. Fairly amused I usually become the outlier.)

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I'm with you, Spaulding.  Not doing it for the money either.  Just hoping God can use the book to advance his kingdom.  My first is about to be published and I'm sending a hard copy to my friend in prison.  They are so bored in there that it will probably be read by many inmates. 

 

And BTW, Jeff Potts is our self-proclaimed, resident hater.

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