"But how?" "But when?" "But why?" I'd ask my Gran.
She'd answer me, "'Cause y's not zed."
So I'd ask my Grandfather instead, "How big?" "How long?" "How wide?"
He'd throw the questions back and ask, "How long's a piece of string?"
But seriously, how long does it really take to write a book? Is the editing (and re-editing, and re-editing over again) a part of writing? What about querying and waiting for replies? What about that startled jump for joy when someone says yes, followed by, "We'll assign you an editor later. Please continue to work on your manuscript?"
"When's later?" I want to ask. And how long will it take?
I started my first post-childhood novel about six years ago. It's still seeking a home. I took it out last week to polish it and found my dreams were slipping through the holes. Much editing later I'm letting it rest. Suffice it to say, if it ever sees light of day, this masterpiece will find itself somewhat over six years in the making.
I started my second post-childhood novel as soon as I finished the first. Since my first first-draft was written very quickly, that makes it somewhere around five and a half years ago. Many drafts later, one competition and quite a few submissions, it found a home with StoneGarden.net. I've just finished another pass on editing it and almost think I like it, but it's scary how much the thought of its being released to the public eye can terrorize me.
My third post-childhood novel is the start of a fantasy series. I keep hoping they might have found a home, but the home keeps telling me maybe... Maybe I'm suffering a serious case of wishful thinking. But the series still has another book to go, so I've time to wait.
My fourth is a rather odd mystery that definitely needs some editing. Who knows how long that will take.
My fifth I started writing as a child. I've rewritten part one. The rest is still wandering round my mind. Will I have to confess how old I am to admit how long it's taking to write that book?
Meanwhile, Steve O'Brien, author of Elijah's Coin and Bullet Work, will visit my blog tomorrow to answer the question put to him--"How long did it take to write?" Hope to see you there/here, tomorrow!