Writing, whether you are writing fiction or nonfiction, is more than the act of writing itself. It is a process and it all takes time. Rushing through from the beginning to the end will only get you no where very fast. This is not a post about the writing process; although, that is come up in a future post. No. This post is about taking your time with it. Let’s dig in.
I understand the urgency to get the finished product in front of people. Trust me when I say, readers know when a writer/author sped through their writing. How, you might ask? The writing itself will be bad. There will be misspellings, awkward sentences, punctuation in places there doesn’t need to be any and vice versa, plot holes, and/or the format is all wrong. The list goes on and on. I’m not talking about a few errors, because we all make mistakes. I’m talking about many. You might say that a piece of writing like this needed a good editor. That is correct. However, here again, the time was not taken to even edit the piece. Editing takes time, too. Trust me. I’m not talking about a couple of days or a week. Instead, I’m talking about months. Then beta readers have to read it first before putting it out to the public. The beta readers, or test readers, will give you viable feedback in regards to what is and isn’t working with your story or book.
Once you get feedback from your beta readers, look at their recommendations one at a time, and fix them if you agree with their assessment. Remember, it’s your writing, so it is up to you as the writer to do with your piece as you see fit.
Here is a list that should give you a picture of the length of time it takes to write a book…..
- Planning- How you plan your story is up to you.
- Draft one- Depending on the length of your story (book length) it can take 1 to 3 years for draft one. My second novel is over 500 pages and took me three years to finish the first draft. But remember, we are all different, and life gets in the way.
- Draft two- No, you are not starting over from the beginning. What you are doing at this stage is taking your first draft and working with it from the beginning to the end. What you will be doing is tweaking your story, characters, structure, looking for plot holes, etc.
- Draft three- Repeat draft two process. Yes, there might be things you will miss.
- Do you need a fourth draft and beyond? That is up to you.
- Self editing- You will want to edit your story/manuscript first before you send it to an editor.
- Editing- Get a good editor. Shop around. Don’t hire the first one that comes along unless they come with good references.
As you can see, writing a book is not a quick process. Take great care with what you are writing. You want to please your readers not make them shut the book before it begins.