Wednesday Writing Tip: How Long Does it Take to Write A Novel?

Posted: March 16, 2011 in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Many will answer this with lots of artsy-fartsy crap.

Not me.

Writing a novel is a job and needs to be approached that way. If you’re serious about it you need to write on a schedule when you feel like it and when you don’t feel like it…especially when you don’t.

You want to write a 300 page mystery?

This is how:

Three pages or more a day for 100 days.

Leave it alone for a month.

Take another 60-120 days to edit, revise and polish.

That’s it.

Don’t meditate. Don’t wait for the muse. Don’t take a writing class.

Ass on chair, fingers on keyboard. Go.

Not glamorous. It’s work.

  1. Amy says:

    No artsy fartsies here, Tom. You are correct. Ass in chair, fingers on keyboard is the only way to make it happen. It is hard work and sometimes the ass has to stay in the chair a really long time before the fingers start moving. Sometimes you go through miserable false starts where you realize what you’ve written sucks and you need to go back and trash several pages or whole chapters. Sometimes you have to shut yourself off from the rest of the world; shut off the modem to force yourself away from the distractions of email/social networking; have your family slide food under the door to you three times a day…
    Or at least I do.

    That said, reaching the finish line is a joyful experience. It’s addictive. It makes you want to put your ass in the chair and start all over again.

    It’s a beautiful, vicious cycle. 🙂

  2. AGREED. Write, read, edit, wait. Write, edit,read, edit, rest the ms. Edit, read, write.
    Being a writer (or an author if you prefer) requires persistence, discipline, patience.

    A friend, a successful writer, once told me to set deadlines, not goals. She further said it’s
    ok to watch for your muse to show up, but you better be working at the keyboard when she enters the room!

  3. I’m thinking of installing a wireless keyboard on my treadmill

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