How long does it take to write a novel?
That is a question I am sure readers and authors alike think about at least once. I think about it all the time because I try to get my books done in a timely fashion. When I have an idea and I start to write my novel I am as excited for people to read it as some of my readers are to read it.
I have found however, writing a novel is not just writing a novel. There is a lot of mental work, blood sweat and tears (and by that I mean editing) involved.
Let me give you the ins and outs of writing a novel for me.
Let’s see, First I have to come up with an idea. Ideas can come from anywhere. They can come from my brain, something I heard, something my daughter said. They can come from anywhere.
Once I have that idea, I have to come up with characters.
Characters aren’t just characters. They are people too. They have to have back stories and families and ideas and feelings and belief systems and foundations. They can’t be hollow. You have to know what they would say when asked a certain question. You have to know what types of questions they would ask in a certain situation. You have to know what they love, who they love and why.
Oh…and they have to have a name. My characters name themselves as I write. You know it was easier to name my kids than it was to name the characters in my books.
Now, you have to determine how all these people are going to interact. You must develop a plot. What controversial issue in their lives are they going to address. In erotic romance you have to make sure your scenes are hot but tasteful. There are some characters you love, some you hate and others you love to hate but they must be real and interact in a real life way.
I usually do an outline of the chapters and see how well it will all flow together. Of course as I begin to write the outline changes (about 5 times for me) but it is great to have an initial one so you know where to begin.
Then you have to actually write a novel.
This is where I take, of course, the most time. I do not type a novel from start to finish. I actually have to hand write each chapter before I type it up and save it into the computer. I have stacks and stacks of spiral bound notebooks and folders full of loose leaf papers of my writings.
My first novel, Prohibited: an erotic novel was about 60,000 words. I have that novel in its entirety in about 3-4 notebooks. That was just the final first draft. There are about 3 other drafts. It was my first novel so I stressed over it so much. That book took me five years to write.
I learned quite a lot from my first novel. Let’s see, I learned that not every reader will like your story. There will be some that really like it and others that will really hate it. Once I realized that, my confidence grew and I felt much more confident as a writer.
The crazy thing about writing is that sometimes you do not choose what you write. My plan was to write the sequel to Prohibited when I was done with the first. As I began to write it, I got the dreaded writers block. My beloved characters were not talking to me. I was frustrated. Then characters started to speak to me. I ended up writing an entirely different novel called Diary of a Wanted Woman.
Those characters just came to me and so did their story. As I wrote that novel, I could hear Maxine in the back of my head saying,
“We’re ready now!”
Once I finished Diary of a Wanted Woman, I began my journey into Prohibited II: Illicit affairs. I was scared. I knew that it could not be worse than the first. Sequels are always worse, right? Good thing I had an amazing team of people that helped me work through my thoughts and tell me honestly when things went right and when things went terribly wrong. I grew as a writer and as a person working with them and completed the novel you have before you.
After I was done writing the novel, I then had to read it again to check for final typos or weird crap that ended up in the first book. Then it is read again by my husband who also formats the eBooks and the paperbacks.
Then we work with a graphic artist (I just adore mine) to come up with a cover.
Then we get it all together and publish on Amazon. It takes about 12 hours for them to get it up for sale. That is just the eBook. There is more work to be done for the paperback.
Just reliving this process is making me so very tired!
Then the hard part…I still have to be a mom and take care of 3 daughters and help with book reports and read to them at night. I had to polish nails and toe nails. I have to plan birthday parties and listen to why some girl named Bae thinks my daughter wants her boyfriend, but it doesn’t matter because no one likes Bae.
I have to watch movies with them on Fridays and have slumber parties with my younger ones until they are old enough to have them without me.
I still cook dinner every night, volunteer at their schools, go to basketball games and Karate tournaments. I have to be a wife and listen to his issues at work and make time to cuddle and…well, you know.
Anyway, I know how it feels to read a book and ache for the sequel. I am not just a writer but a reader as well. I have always loved books and I love books with Drama! Just like TV shows. Season after season they leave us hanging and we wait diligently for the next season (Like me and “The Haves and The Have Nots). Books are the same. I have thought it was glorious when they leave us hanging wanting more.
NO, you will not wait forever for the third installment and if you are wondering…This will be the last book for Prohibited.
However, before I give you Prohibited 3, I have an amazing book in store for you that begins my Deadly Erotica Series. There will be love, there will be hate, there will be violence and…there will be death. Oh and of course, there will be some very steamy action!
So hang in there with me. I write to entertain you and because I love to do it. Just as much as I love being a mom and a wife.
P.S I love Reader reviews Good or Bad. It helps me to be a better writer.Don’t feel bad. Let me have it if you think you I deserve it.