How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

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abc
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by abc » April 7th, 2012, 8:51 pm

Too Long!

I go through periods (like now) when I do well and write every day, but then I'll go through weeks of doing nothing and blaming it on being "busy" (no) or "stressed" or "stuck" (shah). Really I think it is because I'm afraid to suck, especially since I really like this idea and want it to be awesome. I'm afraid of finishing it and it not being awesome. I gotta get over that.

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by writersink » April 8th, 2012, 7:39 am

abc wrote:Too Long!

I go through periods (like now) when I do well and write every day, but then I'll go through weeks of doing nothing and blaming it on being "busy" (no) or "stressed" or "stuck" (shah). Really I think it is because I'm afraid to suck, especially since I really like this idea and want it to be awesome. I'm afraid of finishing it and it not being awesome. I gotta get over that.
Wow. It is like we're twins! Do you think there's a name for what we have? Other than chronic procrastinators? (That's boring. :D )

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by shadow » April 8th, 2012, 1:51 pm

It really depends how much time I have on my hands...Just like you guys. Some days are off and some are on.
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by Nicole R » April 9th, 2012, 10:47 am

In general...about a year. I'm really trying to crank on this latest WIP though, and it looks like my first draft on this one will take about 6 months.

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by Mark.W.Carson » April 9th, 2012, 4:03 pm

I started my WIP by taking a break, and have taken a few more, once for eye surgery, others for family business, but it is hard to get back into the flow.

What I found that works well is to try and tell myself my story in my head and listen to music that seems fitting for the scene I am thinking about. After that, I can't NOT write. It helps make me want to do it.

Forcing it, though, when the juices are dried up, will make for bad writing more than not.

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by Falen » April 10th, 2012, 3:50 pm

On average, i finish a rough draft in 2-3 months and then finish revising in another 4 months. But, i'm aware that this is mostly due to my speedy writing.
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by Sanderling » April 25th, 2012, 3:43 pm

I've loved reading through the replies and seeing just how varied everyone's writing speed/style is.

I've written five first drafts/novels and found I've gotten faster with practice. My first novel took me six months to draft, the second I think took me four and a half while the third took just over three months. These were all longer, over 100k for the first draft. Number four I used an outline (the only novel I've outlined in full in advance) which sped things up a lot; it took me a month and a half. Number five I was back to pantsing again and it took me two and a half months. Four and five were both shorter, about 75k for the first draft.

Part of the reason I can write so (relatively) quickly is because I'm freelance and childless so can shift my schedule around to accommodate my writing whenever I feel the creative urge. If I'm suddenly struck by a 5000 word scene, I can just sit and keep writing till it's all down, if I want to, even though it may take several hours.

(Came here from Nathan's blog post. I've been neglecting the forums the last few weeks, I've been so busy.)
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by AnthonyRenaldi » April 25th, 2012, 10:22 pm

Twenty-eight years, five months, four days, six hours, nine minutes and an odd number of seconds.

I started my first...we'll call it a short story...in 1983 and finished it this year. For real! Okay, in between I had a very active career in the US Air Force (I'll retire in May).

In 2009, I was recovering from shoulder surgery and decided to pick up my little story and have another whack at it. What started out as a 5, 000 word short story grew into a 107, 000 word novel. I worked and I slaved--no really--until I had come up with, what in my humble opinion, was a great story. I've since written the second in the series and am now working on the third. I'm currently trying to get the first one (Anacapa)published.

Here's a more serious answer to the question: It usually takes me about 8 months to write a good first draft. I usually start in November (naturally) and finish mid-summer. It may be because I had to chip away at it on weekends and after work. Maybe I'll have a different answer to the question after retirement. Ask me then. :D

Well, there ya have it.

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by AveryMarsh » April 30th, 2012, 2:37 am

I love reading about other people's writing journeys. Y'all's are so inspiring, whereas, my story is kind of obnoxious.

I haven't been writing that long so I've been going at a frantic pace since 2010 trying to play catch up. My first WIP was written during that year's NaNoWrimo: approx 55k in 30 days. It was so terrible that I don't even consider it a first draft, just a NaNo draft, which is where I haphazardly throw words at the page hoping that it will eventually make a story. But after hearing over and over again how hitting some arbitrary wordcount doesn't make one a real writer, my stubbornness took over and I kept on. I started the second draft a couple months after that, and now, over a year later, it's a whopping 120k, unfinished and such a mess that I had to set it aside. Still, I got 88k into the sequel before shelving the whole trilogy.

Because I'm a WriMo-holic, my next two projects were written during last year's summer camps: Peregrine (82k) in July and the unfinished sequel (50k) in August. It was such utter crap that I'm having to replot the majority of the story which, for a former pantser, is proving to be a challenge. I had hoped to have a polished draft by now (stupid, naive, impatient me) but it's taken four months just to outline the rewrite, and that's after I spent months editing something I should've overhauled from the start.

So, yeah... I'd trade speed for quality any day.

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Flip
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by Flip » October 29th, 2012, 11:32 pm

WAIT?! What? You're supposed to FINISH eventually? What is my life even where is my brain omgosh...send halp. ;)

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wilderness
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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by wilderness » October 30th, 2012, 2:10 pm

My answer is also Too Long!! :D

It took me about 2 years to finish my latest project and get it in a querying state. There were periods when I got almost nothing done, and periods when I wrote like crazy, depending on what was going on with the rest of my life, esp. my day job.

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Re: How long do you take to finish a draft/ WIP?

Post by JustSarah » October 30th, 2012, 6:50 pm

I think if I got my but in gear, I could get a chapter done in a week. And then that means most of the novel done in a month. Its just making myself write 1643 words a day that's tricky. That would mean 11 outlines.

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