How long does it take to write a novel?

I often wonder how long it takes other writers to complete their work. In an effort to stop others from wondering I thought I’d share the timeline of my current project, One Night.

April 2014 – I get the initial idea for the story and the main characters.  I jot down a few notes.

August 2014 – I write two chapters.

December 2014 – During a walk home from work I realize this idea I’ve been thinking about and tinkering with should really be a YA novel about friendship, not a novel intended for adults. One of the main characters stays, but in a totally different context. Everything else is axed. I outline this new version of the novel and write the beginning of it.

January 2015 – I get married. A close family member passes away. I don’t think about writing for a bit.

February 2015 – I pull out the outline I wrote in December and get to work. I write on average 1,000 words per day.

April 2015 – I finish a draft of the novel.

Mid-April to May 2015 – I edit the novel.

June and July 2015 – I share the novel with beta readers and critique partners. I edit the book some more.

All told, I’ve spent about six months actually writing and editing the project. I’m still mulling it over, but I’m fairly certain it’s almost complete 🙂

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