Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Wrap Up

Okay, you've got to be sick of this by now, but good news! Today I'm wrapping up my Q&A series with a final post on writing questions. Thanks to everyone who participated - I loved answering your questions and reading your answers in the comments!

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Q - Susan R. Mills asks: How many novels have you written and how long does it take you to knock one out?

A - I'm currently working on my third novel. The first was a mid-grade ghost story which I did submit to agents, but it was my first novel and now I can see that it needs a lot of work I'm not willing to put into it at this point. The second was a YA epic fantasy, In the Seventeenth Year, which I still love. I submitted it to a publisher who kept it for a year before rejecting it (though they did provide a detailed critique which was muuccchh appreciated!) But by the time they rejected it, I was all involved with my current wip, so Seventeenth Year is sitting on the shelf, waiting to be polished up and sent out again. My third novel, a time travel romance called Killing Kessler, is finally nearing the query stage! I'm hoping to have it ready to go shortly after the new year.

I typically spend a month outlining, maybe six months or so on the rough draft, and a good year revising. I'm hoping to tighten that up as I grow as a writer and hopefully my manuscripts won't require so much revision. :)


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Q - Myrna Foster asks: What are you writing or revising right now?

A - I'm revising my time travel romance, Killing Kessler. I hope to have it ready to query shortly after the new year. I guess I'll have to wait and see what my lovely CPs have to say before I know how much more work it's going to need.

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Q - Robyn Campbell asks: How long do you typically spend on revisions? Which do you like more? First drafts or revisions?

A - I first sent Killing Kessler out to CPs last Christmas, then again at the beginning of the summer, and I'm hoping to send it out one final time this Christmas. So that's about a year of revision. I love both processes, but I definitely prefer revising to writing a first draft.

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How about you? Do you prefer rough drafts or revising? How long does it take you to write a novel? How long do you spend on revisions? What are you writing or revising right now?

That's it for me, folks! I think I've answered them all, so if I missed your question please let me know in the comments and I'll answer it in a future post.

Happy Tuesday, Everyone!

37 comments:

Brian said...

I enjoyed all the answers, we're a curious bunch aren't we???

Lola Sharp said...

I'm SLOW at revisions, too.
I WAAAYYYY prefer a first draft to revisions.

Hugs,
Lola

Kelly said...

I prefer first drafts but the revisions seem to take almost as much time!!
I love the titles of your books.

Lynn said...

I'm still on short story but my goal is to plot a novel next year. I'd like to have three short stories in circulation at a time and that's my current focus. So, I'd say a finished first draft for a novel is at least two years away. Yes, writing takes time!

Old Kitty said...

You prefer revising?!?!? Oh wow!! I hate revising - hate it!! I'm in full flow and loving the first draft because I don't have to worry too much about grammar and such like LOL!!!!! Revising makes my head explode - but the result is definitely worth it!!!

GOOD LUCK with Killing Kessler!!!! Onwards and upwards!! Take care
x

Joanne said...

I prefer revising. To me, that's when the story really gets layered, the revision process giving me an opportunity to add depth to the more rough first draft. I'll also continue researching at this time, and use that information in the revision process too.

Ann Best said...

The first draft is the worst, I think. Then I find it fun to revise.

Enjoy reading your answers. It's always interesting to me to see what the writing process is for others.
Ann Best, Long Journey Home

Terri Tiffany said...

I enjoyed seeing what you do. I can write a novel in about 4 months if I really work at it and then revise revise--total about a year till I feel ready to submit. GOing slower on this one. I want it to be my best.

Susan R. Mills said...

I'm so glad to hear it takes you that long to write a novel. I don't feel so alone. :)

Talli Roland said...

I loved your Q&As!

I probably prefer whichever one I'm not doing at the time! Grass is greener and all that...

Carol Riggs said...

Nice to hear about what you're working on, and your processes! I prefer writing the initial draft, but really, I like revision too, polishing it all up and tightening. It usually takes me 3-4 months to write the first draft, but this last WIP I've been doing more leisurely, going on 6 months now. Too many other things tucked into the middle of it, that took priority. I did a revision for another novel in between, so I could send the full of it to an agent. Now, back to my WIP!

Jai Joshi said...

Nothing ever compares to the magic of the first draft to me, although there is a certain satisfaction in revising and polishing the manuscript to a high shine.

Jai

Carolyn V. said...

I love hearing how other people write! It takes me about 12 weeks to do a first draft and 9 months for revisions. I love the draft more than the revisions...totally.

Kimberly Franklin said...

Question time is always fun! It was good to get a chance to learn more about you! :)

The Golden Eagle said...

It was great reading your answers!

I haven't had the chance of doing much revising (still pumping out the first draft), but I can say that I love the writing part!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Takes me forever to write that first rough draft, although NaNo certainly sped up the process for my second book. I enjoy editing though.

Medeia Sharif said...

It might take me 3-6 months to write a draft, but revisions and edits seem to take forever. I know that it's just a trick of my mind since it's ponderous reading the manuscript over and over again.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

Very cool to read this, Susan. I'm on my third novel, too, so we have that in common. For me, I'm taking longer with this one. I think because I care about it more. The first two really did feel like practice novels, even though I "practiced" sending them out to agents (poor agents). It wasn't too hard to let them go and move on to something else. With this one, I think the rejections will hit harder because I'm really doing my best to get it right. Boy, I don't sound very optimistic, do I? LOL!

Happy editing! (And the premise of a time travel romance sounds very cool!!)

Amy

Lydia Kang said...

This has been a great Q and A. Thanks for putting up with all our questions!

Julie Musil said...

It's been so fun reading your Q&A sessions. I definitely prefer revising to writing the first draft. It's not that I don't like the first draft, but I love it once I have something to mold.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Hey, we're going to be query buddies. :D

I'm working on my new wip and hope to be finished the first draft at the end of the month. It's taken me two months to finish it, but I was also working on my other project at the same time (darn first chapter).

I'm looking forward to the revisions. Like you, I prefer them over the first draft.

Jackee said...

Yay for Kessler! I'm glad you like revision. I definitely love first drafts over revision... hence my speed at getting Jedda to you. LOL!

Thanks for sharing--I loved learning about your previous books! :o)

TerryLynnJohnson said...

I'm also on my third!
Thanks for this series. Was very interesting.

Myrna Foster said...

Thanks for answering my question! That's what I thought you were working on, but it sounded like you pulled out The Seventeenth Year a while back and worked on it. It sounds like we're on the same revision schedule. Well, we would be if I hadn't started first drafting a prequel to mine last month.

I love and hate both first drafting and revising, but revising is probably my favorite because you still get to write shiny new bits to replace those not so shiny parts ;)

salarsenッ said...

I love that you mentioned a month to outline. I'm at the point with a current WIP where I now must outline. I despise outlining. I think part of the reason is because I always feel like I'm not really working. Understand??? And so I rush it. I think I'll try taking it slower. Thanks.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I revise as I write. So I may write a chapter one week then spend another week revising it before moving on. It takes me awhile to write that way but at the end by book is pretty clean and ready for a beta read.

Vicki Rocho said...

Good questions (and answers!)

Hard call on 1st draft vs. revisions. You've got the magic of the story unfolding with the first draft...but the revisions REALLY pull it together and make it sparkle...so I'm sitting on the fence on this one.

Life 101 said...

Hey Susan, I never tire of Q&A with folks who are writing. I always seem to pick up something useful.
I picked up a used book recently called "Stein On Writing" and I picked up a LOT of good pointers from it.
Thanks for all you do.
Rick

Aubrie said...

Congrats on reaching your third novel! I get better with each one, so maybe this one is it!

Clara said...

I definetly prefer revising then writing for the first time, too!

DEZMOND said...

ah, it really does take a lot of time to write a novel. If you're interested in how long it takes to translate your novel, since I work as a book translator, it takes around 1.5 to 2 months depending on how long the book is :)

Jemi Fraser said...

I've had a crazy week and missed most of the posts. I just skimmed through most of your answers - they're great!

I MUCH prefer the first draft time - much easier and more fun! :)

DL Hammons said...

Rough drafts are way more fun!! WAY!!!! :)

Patti Lacy said...

I'm sorry it's ending! It was fun to get to know you better!

LOVE the purple background!!! :)

notesfromnadir said...

I like the rawness of the first draft. It can go anywhere your characters want it to go. Revision is also fun in its own way as you can eliminate that which doesn't move the story along.

Tara said...

I loved reading through all your Q & A's!

Robyn Campbell said...

I did read these Q & A's and loved learning about you. I've been gone and have NOT been commenting. BAD ROBYN! But I notice one thing. You and I are a lot alike. Except the revising thang. I'm discovering first drafts are so much fun. And freeing after all that revision. :)