Monday 13 July 2020

How Long Does It Take Me To Finish A Book? - The Creative Process


This is something that a lot of people have asked me, you'll all know that I write two books at the same time, and you know that I'm a pretty fast drafter, depending on who you ask of course! But I wanted to go not just into the drafting of the book, because that's not really 'finished', it's just the first draft and from there you have revisions and edits and all of that, and that whole time you're writing in it, whether huge chunks or bits and pieces, you're still writing the book.

So rather than sit here and say, oh it takes me x amount of time to write a book, I thought I would tell you how the whole process takes me since it's about the same as a lot of the authors I know, whether they do the indie route or the traditional route.

This takes me anywhere from four months to six, it really depends on the months, how I'm feeling, what I'm up to and all of that. I will say that if I didn't write two books at once it'd probably only take me two to three months to finish, but that's also because a lot of my projects are longer than maybe they will actually end up being. I am very much an overwriter!

When I finish a draft, I'm pretty much done with it for a while. I usually print it off, put it away and then move onto the next project, and will come back to the draft about a year or so before it's due to be published for revisions. So going by my current speed, this process is about a year to eighteen months, sometimes longer!

This is the process that takes the longest, I will be taking that first draft and making it into a second and so on, and that can take months if not a whole year or more. Currently I am on my fifth draft of one project that's due to come out next year and I'm only just at the point, having been revising for a good six months or so, where I feel like this book is ready for betas, and from there it'll be a good few months and more drafts before I'm happy to send it off to my editor.

So for this one it's hard, because it really does depend on the shape the first draft is in. Now I edit as I go, but that doesn't mean that it irons out everything as neatly as I'd like. If I take the current project in revisions, then I'd say about a year to get it into shape ready for the editor!

I always go through developmental edits and this usually takes about three months. We'll be going through chapter by chapter and sometimes I end up having to rewrite the whole thing, and other times it's just a few tweaks here and there. On top of that, while editing, I'm going through the coming chapters and making changes that need to be made because of corrections in the previous chapters, and this can take a whole lot of time. But generally this is about three solid months of work before moving onto the next stage.

This is the line edits, and these usually take a month. By this point the book is pretty clean, and I'm just changing a few clunky sentences and such like that. Sometimes there can be issues that need to be rewritten, but it's pretty rare, so that adds on another month and onto the next stage.

And the proof read only takes a month, sometimes less depending on how busy my proof reader is, like the last book, she'd just had a baby, so obviously that took priority. She'll point out small errors and the majority of the writing is done, it's putting commas here and there, and maybe a few bits and pieces that need correcting, but it's not major overhauls.

So let's add that all together. Six months to draft, eighteen to sit, a year to revise, five months to completely edit it to completion, where does that leave me? 3 years and five months, give or take a few months here and there. I still think that's pretty good, but it's why there are books I've talked about in the past that have only just started the revisions and such, but it all comes together to give my readers the best book it can possibly be, and you can't rush that!

How long do you think it takes you? Lemme know in the comments!

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