How long does it take to write a novel?

I set out to write my first draft of Wrapped in Darkness in three months – January, February, March 2014.

A plan I was very happy with after reading this quote by Stephen King:

“The first draft of a book—even a long one—should take no more than three months, the length of a season.”

What are your thoughts on this? How long does it take you to write a novel? I’ve written a 60,000 word novel in under 3 weeks before… I can get a lot done when I put my mind to it 🙂

About Jodie @ Words Read & Written

Book blogger & aspiring author.
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178 Responses to How long does it take to write a novel?

  1. If It wasn’t writing on top of a full time job, 100,000 words in 3 months wouldn’t be rough. I can usually produce 1500-3000 words after a work day, as long as I’m not in a part of the book that is tricky. I grind to a halt when i am writing action sequences or fight scenes. I find that revisions take 2 to 3 times longer then the first draft.

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  2. If It wasn’t writing on top of a full time job, 100,000 words in 3 months wouldn’t be rough. I can usually produce 1500-3000 words after a work day, as long as I’m not in a part of the book that is tricky. I grind to a halt when i am writing action sequences or fight scenes. I find that revisions take 2 to 3 times longer then the first draft.

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  3. I’ve worked on my novel for about 6 years. I would put it away for months and then take it out to get a fresh look at it. I edited and re-edited it. I had to make sure all the plot twists followed the clues. The story evolved over time. Maybe my next book will take less time. Or maybe not. Nothing is written in stone.

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  4. I’ve worked on my novel for about 6 years. I would put it away for months and then take it out to get a fresh look at it. I edited and re-edited it. I had to make sure all the plot twists followed the clues. The story evolved over time. Maybe my next book will take less time. Or maybe not. Nothing is written in stone.

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  5. What else were you doing? Or did you simply eat, sleep and drink words? If your lifestyle allows it, then I guess anything is possible. You would have to put the rest of your life on hold for those three weeks, but that is a small price to pay to get it completed. I think writing is the easy part.

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  6. What else were you doing? Or did you simply eat, sleep and drink words? If your lifestyle allows it, then I guess anything is possible. You would have to put the rest of your life on hold for those three weeks, but that is a small price to pay to get it completed. I think writing is the easy part.

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  7. Penny Draper says:

    Three months is just about right for me, but that’s after the research, synopsis, and all the rest of the prelim is done. And I write for middle grade readers, so only about 40,000 words. But I was under a tight deadline for my last book – thirty days from start to finish. Madness! I kept a diary of the process; it is a litany of abortive plot twists, discarded details and name changes. Not to mention distractions. Good question – thanks, Jodie.

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  8. Penny Draper says:

    Three months is just about right for me, but that’s after the research, synopsis, and all the rest of the prelim is done. And I write for middle grade readers, so only about 40,000 words. But I was under a tight deadline for my last book – thirty days from start to finish. Madness! I kept a diary of the process; it is a litany of abortive plot twists, discarded details and name changes. Not to mention distractions. Good question – thanks, Jodie.

    Like

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