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Let's ask the Author

posted Apr 18, 2013, 8:25 PM by Elaine Busby   [ updated Apr 18, 2013, 8:27 PM ]

 “How long does it take you to write a book?”

 As an author, this is a question I am commonly asked when I speak before groups or share more casually. Like many questions regarding writing, there are no simple answers.

There is the writing of the book….and then, there is the re-working of the book. For example, perhaps there was a plot twist that arrived in the 14th chapter, and you need to go back through the entire manuscript and make sure your facts add up. I’ve had that happen.

When you do get to the end of the book, then there is your first serious edit. This usually uncovers its own set of strange quirks. For instance, you might have called Jane’s best friend, Allison, in the first two chapters. Then Alyssa disappears for half the book, and when she comes back, you called her Allison. No, that’s when Allison disappears and you call her Alyssa. You get the drift!

I could elaborate on this topic of how long it takes to write a book, but let my short answer suffice; that it takes me about 5 years between initial start of the book until you see it in print. I just attended a lecture by author Robin Cody of “Ricochet River”, and he stated it took him 17 years to write that book. So even though I’m aiming for a shorter pen to publish time, not all authors – and not all books - are created equal.

Now, should I tackle the harder question, “How did you ever write a book?” Certainly there are tools, triggers and techniques authors use to write books. But a straight answer?

Maybe I’ll blog about that in five years – when my third book is published.