Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Myth: It only takes a few months to write a novel.

When I mention I am working on a book and someone is like, "Oh so you will be done in a few months."  I am just like
Seriously? A few months? I don't know where this idea/mentality came from but it needs to go the fuck away and quick like. Sure you can possibly finish one in a few months, it will just look like your cat crapped it out.  You can't really think you can write something that quickly and expect it to be the next LotR or Harry Potter series, let alone actually decent enough for publishing.

Writing any novel worth it's salt is a long and painful journey that often is nourished by your tears.  There is also the sheer amount of frustration from both characters and scenes just not wanting to go how you wanted.  If you are not on the verge of tears you are close to just saying "fuck all!"

If you are thinking if you plan your shit out from the get go this won't happen, you are lying to yourself and the universe at large. Even with this complex outline that would make a spider jealous this happens.  Why?  Because you are not perfect, because your characters are not perfect(well at least they better not be) so at some point you diverged from your characters personality just enough that this one scene no longer works.  Or the scene worked in theory but turns out that's it.

So you managed to get passed all that and the occasional writers block? Yay!  You are still not done.  Now you need to self edit and find an actual editor who is going to cost money.  Guess what? Those are expensive running on the low end of fifteen dollars an hour spent on your manuscript.  Now guess what?  This isn't going to be a one time deal here, after the do an initial edit you go in and change what you want and make your own changes based on what they edited and then, thats right, they have to edit it again.  This could go on for months!

Now that is out of the way time to send off to publishing houses to be looked at, this is assuming you are skipping the part where you should get an agent. Each firm can take up to six months to get back to you and more than likely tell you no.  So you have to keep sending it out to the limited publishing houses you have access to or get a damn agent.

So you want an agent now.  Well you need the right one for you.  You just can't pick one at random and hope for the best your book will never sell.  You need an agent who likes the genre you are writing in who will understand your targeted audience and send your manuscript to the right publishing houses. So this hunt can take up to months as well.

But you have one now, and you will still face rejection left and right, but now you have more options and eventually someone says yes.  Now it's going through all the paperwork and rights stuff to make sure you don't get fucked over and the publishing house doesn't as well.

Finally after all that your book goes to print.

So easy right?


  1. Haha I loved this. Definitely suitable for grumpy woman writing. The added GIFs is class. And right on sister. It isn't possible to write a decent full sized novel in a few months. People are crazy to think that. BH took me a year to write and three months to do the final edit. The FINAL edit. Before that one I'd edited it several times. Awww I love that bunny. I wanna take it home with me.

  2. I just want to start with saying that gif of the bunny speaks to me on a spiritual level.

    I have also had people tell me they have finished in a mere two or so months and are ready to send it out for publishing. I was like, "What? How? Who did you kill?"

    I sort of blame things like NaNoWriMo, because the whole go of it is to hit 50k words in a month and call it a novel. So one people think 50k words makes it a novel and that you can make a decent one in no time flat if you give up your life as whole.