Is Your Book Done Yet? (Part 2)

If I had a nickel for every time someone asked me that question… well, I’d have made more money that I’ve done self-publishing so far (Ha. Ha. But that’s a topic for another blog post). But, seriously, how long does it really take to write a book? Check out PART 1 or PART 3 of the three part series.

Comments from Part 1 of this blog post series asked about writing vs. editing time. As a new writer, I had no idea how long it took to polish a novel once it was written. What was really eye-opening to me is how quickly I can put words down on a page and call it a novel. The real magic happens with rewriting and edits. One of my favorite authors, Michael Crichton has said, “Books are not written–they’re rewritten.”

Here’s the real timeline breakdown of Love, Lies & Clones.

  • February/March–Wrote “Draft Zero” which was a 50,000 word ROUGH, ROUGH draft of the novel.
  • April–Camp NaNoWriMo Project–First round of edits/revisions to try to have it grow from 50K to 80K.
  • May/June–Two rounds of beta readers and edits.
  • July–Put this novel away. Wrote Blood & Holy Water for Camp NaNoWriMo.
  • August/September–Another round of beta readers.
  • October–Editor/Prep for Kindle Scout
  • November–Kindle Scout Campaign. I read through the novel one more time, and still caught issues! (And I attempted to win NaNoWriMo with another novel.)
  • December–Published! Horary!

How about other self-published authors? 

Today’s Spotlight: Mystery / Thriller / Crime Authors

Note: You can CLICK any book cover below to learn more. You may find your next novel to read!

QUESTION: How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

The Olympus KillerThe Church MurdersDeath of a BrideLuke Christodoulou: I give myself a year for each book. I finish earlier than that though, giving plenty of time for the book to go to my editor and for my proofreaders to provide feedback.

A Jar of Thursday

The Secret Notebook of Sherlock Holmes A House of MirrorsLiz Hedgecock: I write the first draft quite quickly, but I’m pretty thorough in the edit. I wrote the draft of A House Of Mirrors in 6 weeks, then put it away for 6 months, and took a month to edit it.

The SplitWarriors

Carey Lewis: It takes me about a month, and that includes research and two rounds of edits on the manuscript. Then I’ll put it away for a couple of weeks and give it another couple of edits with fresh eyes.

The Adoption

Greg Merritt: About 8 months.

How much of your time is devoted to writing opposed to editing/rewriting?

Please post in the comments.

Is Your Book Done Yet? (Part 1)

Over the past nine months, everyone kept asking me, “So… is your book done yet?” Ugh! Really? How long is it supposed to take to write a novel? I thought I was moving along quite quickly.

How long should it take to write a novel?

I did what I always do when I want factual information. I googled it. (Ha. Ha.) Do you know what I found? Famous novels took a variety of time. From 2.5 days (The Boy in the Striped Pajamas) to 16 years (Lord of the Rings Trilogy). Click here for a nice infographic on famous authors / books.

But those are super FAMOUS people. What about everyone else? Those authors without huge publishing contracts. Those who perhaps balance a day job as well as writing.

Well, I met a whole crew of awesome authors during my Kindle Scout campaign. I thought I would throw that question their way.

I’m going to spotlight some of their answers in a three part blog series this week. (Read PART 2 or PART 3) I hope you enjoy the feedback and meeting some new writers–people who have been super supportive of me and my writing adventures.

Today: Speculative Fiction Authors (Fantasy / Science Fiction / Horror)

Note: You can CLICK any book cover below to learn more.

QUESTION: How long did it take you to write your most recent book(s)?

Simulation

 

M. Black: Simulation is my most recently finished book. I just finished Quantum State, but it hasn’t been edited and reedited, and beta-read yet. It took about 3 months as most of my books take.

 

Beyond the Forest

Kay Ling: I spent at least two years rewriting and polishing Beyond the Forest, a novel I wrote and then abandoned in the 1980s due to my time-consuming career. So, I suppose I could say it took me three decades to write it!

Different

 

Bill Hiatt: Full-length novels typically take three to six months, depending on their length and complexity, as well as upon how many other demands on my time there are while I’m writing.

Dreams

 

Steve Vernon: Too long. Way too freaking long.


Sam

 

J.P. Cawood: I wrote my first two books in a year and a half. Six months of that were full-time and the rest was while juggling a job.

Othello

 

 

Aaron Frale: It takes about six months to a year depending on my life outside of writing.

 

Have you written a novel? How long did it take you?

Please post in the comments.

 

(Other stellar novels to check out in these genres)

 Graveyard Raven Newcomer Tres  Generation    Awakening Christmas. Snpw    Daly Past. Darkness

Author Interview- Joynell Schultz

First: Please head over to WORDSMITH WEEKLY and follow the blog. Elizabeth is doing fabulous things for the author community — having a place for publishing flash fiction and showcasing authors amongst other things.

Second: I was delighted to be asked if I’d be interested in doing an author interview. It’s my 1 minute of fame 🙂 It’s got everything you EVER wanted to know about me and everything I thought I’d NEVER have posted on the internet. 🙂 Thank you Elizabeth for giving me this opportunity!

Wordsmith Weekly


I had the pleasure this week of talking with author Joynell Schultz. Her first book, Love, Lies & Clones has been published and is available this Friday, December 16th on Amazon. I have been following her writing journey for some time now through social media and was delighted when she agreed to take the time and answer some questions about life, writing, and her new book.

Wordsmith Weekly: Joynell, Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions. We talk a lot on the blog about motivation and inspiration. Can you tell us what inspires you?

Joynell Schultz: The world we live in inspires me. I’m a scientist, by nature, so I love taking what our science can do and pushing it a little further. I struggle with slowing down enough to appreciate the miracles in everyday things. It can be as simple as looking at a tree—a…

View original post 1,679 more words

Week 4: Camp NaNoWriMo – Not The End

When I first heard of November’s NaNoWriMo, I thought it was an insane idea. How can anyone write 50,000 words in one month? Anyone that does it must not have a family or a full time job, right?

Well, now, I’m realizing that it is possible. During July’s camp, my goal was 25K in the month and I surpassed it, reaching 42K. (I started my novel the last week of June, because I couldn’t wait, and I’m currently at 50K.)  I think if I wasn’t editing my other novel and reading a few manuscripts for others, I could have easily hit 50K this month. And, that’s with a 40+ hour per week job, a husband and two children at home (though, I probably didn’t really cook or clean this month – which I’m not complaining about), and a few little family weekend trips squeezed in.

I only have 6-7 chapters to go and I’ll have completed TWO novels in 2016 so far. With November’s NaNoWriMo, that’ll be THREE novels. And to think that when I started this blog I swore I’d never try to write another novel again!

Well, August’s goal is to figure out what to do next. What do you do with a finished novel? Is it ever really finished?  Stay tuned for my step-by-step saga. That whole process seems quite overwhelming.

So November, here I come! I’ll get to 50K, I’m sure of it. Now, I just need a new novel idea and I can begin outlining.

What I learned this July:  with a good outline, the writing part is easy.  Coming up with the story is the difficult part.

How did July’s Camp NaNoWriMo go for you? Did you reach your goals? (I hope so!)

Week 3: Camp NaNoWriMo– Be The Villain

camp nano

I’m late for my update. Well, I won camp! Woo Hoo! (Since I didn’t technically win April’s camp.) I’m currently well ahead of my goal! 40K done of a goal of 31K and I still have 7 days left this month. (Which is good, because I still have 10 chapters of my 27 chapters to write.)

I’m approaching the climax now. The middle of the book is HARD! I was stuck earlier and took a day off from writing to plot the story out. I obsessed about it and couldn’t function in the real world as I tried to figure out how to get from point A to point B.

To get me out of this, I put myself in the mind of the villain, forgetting my protagonists. I wrote a few chapters of the middle of the story from the villain’s perspective. (I planned on putting then in the novel, but cut them when I realized it took away from the mystery/suspense.) This was an amazing technique to keep the story moving and add some depth.

My brother tells me he loves the villains. I never understood, but now have a new appreciation. They are flawed. They take action to make things go their way. They make the story happen.

How do you get through the endless middle section/act 2 of your stories?

Week 2: Camp NaNoWriMo – Critique Partner

CNW_Participant[1]

I just finished Week #2 of Camp NaNoWriMo and things are smooth sailing.  I’ve finished 28,100 words of my 31,000 words goal.

On GoodReads, I stumbled upon an ad for a critique partner. A fellow writer was looking for a partner to read each chapter of her novel as she finishes it (Work in Progress). What pulled me in was her characters were similar to mine for this Camp Nano. I jumped at the opportunity to have some feedback on the novel as I wrote it.

This is an entirely new concept for me. I’ve never shared a work in progress before. My first drafts… Or rather, draft zero, is typically terrible. A complete embarrassment that I won’t even show to my mother. Maybe this one is too, but I’m still sharing it and using the feedback to make it better. I believe that when I get to the end, I’ll have the best first draft I’ve ever written.

My palms sweat and my heart flutters before I share each chapter – both from fear and from excitement. I really like having feedback on the plot before I write a 50K+ novel and have to rework the whole thing.

Plus it keeps me going. I don’t think I’d be 28K into the novel already if I didn’t have someone eagerly waiting to read my next chapter. So even if it’s not perfect, I still click “share”.

We’ve been using Google Docs, and I’m really enjoying this program for critique partner/feedback. It handles comments really well and you can go in and see exactly what your partner changed in their story based on your feedback.

How is your project going, and what have you been doing to stay motivated?

Which Novel Cover?

A novel cover is so important because, despite the saying, we DO judge a book by the cover.

There are so many things to consider: Does it fit the genre, is it an accurate reflection of the story, does it promise the reader the premise, and will it make people at least read the book blurb.

I thought I finally came up with a novel cover I liked, but feedback from a beta readers made me question my choice. The beta reader said they didn’t like photos on the cover… It took away from using your imagination.

Is this true? So many novels have photos now…  But so many don’t.

So I played the cover again (which was a lot of fun). Which cover do you prefer? The novel is a light/soft sci-fi (speculative fiction) with a little bit of mystery/romance/action.

Please comment below and let me know your thoughts.

Cover A

Love, Lies, & Clones Cover

Cover B

love, lies & clones cover 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Book Blurb:

June’s biggest struggle isn’t that she’s a clone.  It’s that her father has disappeared and the police aren’t doing enough to help her find him.  True, they’re a little occupied with a serial killer who just killed again after two years of silence.  Maybe if June would just tell them her dad was involved in illegal human cloning they’d be more interested?  But that would only cause trouble for her dad when (or perhaps IF) they found him.

June can’t sit and wait for the police to find her father, so she sets out on her own investigation with the help of Elliot, a man currently AWOL from the military.  Can she trust this man with her secret?  With each clue they discover, they learn more about the twisted experiments June’s father headed and why she was created.  When June and Elliot finally get close to uncovering the truth, they find themselves dodging bullets.